Postal News from September 2005
September 30, 2005 -- According to the General Accountability Office (GAO), "Over $56 million has been raised through sales of semipostals to date, and several key factors likely affected sales. Key factors affect sales for semipostals. These key factors are (1) the fundraising causes, including the degree to which people were aware of the cause and motivated to support it; (2) the promotional capabilities and activities of affiliated advocacy groups; (3) the designs of the semipostals; and (4) the promotional activities of the Service. These factors play central roles in the lessons learned from evaluating sales of these semipostals.
September 30, 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.
September 30, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Three quarters of Royal Mail business customers say they would move some or all of their business if a competitor offered equivalent service quality at a 5% discount, but 82% believe that Royal Mail's service is better. The findings reveal that although caution is prevalent in the business mail market, volume might quickly find its way to alternative suppliers if the general perception of the services levels offered by the private sector improves."
September 30, 2005 -- The Smithsonian's National Postal Museum will present:
September 30, 2005 -- According to Direct magazine postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "If you haven't yet read the U.S. Postal Service's 2006-2010 Strategic Transformation Plan, you should. It will provide as clear and concise a roadmap as to where the Postal Service will be going over the next five years -- with or without postal legislative reform."
September 30, 2005 -- The following documents have been posted on this site: (1) a Congressional Research Service update on postal legislative reform and (2) a Congressional Research Service report on "Free Mail for Troops Overseas."
September 30, 2005 -- As Transport Intelligence has noted, "Consolidation in the European postal industry is continuing ahead of the liberalization of the market in 2008."
September 30, 2005 -- The latest issue of Postal Legislative Update of the National Association of Postal Supervisors has been posted on this site.
September 30, 2005 -- You can find a copy of the U.S. Postal Service's 2006-2010 Strategic Transformation Plan on this site.
September 30, 2005 -- Online.ie has reported that "The Communications Workers Union is considering industrial action in protest at An Post's failure to deliver wage increases due under the social partnership process. The union's executive council is due to decide next Tuesday whether to ballot members on the possibility of engaging in strike action to secure the outstanding money. It said 8,000 of its members had still not received cost-of-living increases due to them under the Sustaining Progress deal."
September 30, 2005 -- This Day has noted that "Globally, the postal service has undergone reforms, which is galvanized by an avalanche of factors on the information society. In Nigeria, NIPOST had enjoyed the monopoly of the postal sector, with the universal service, geographical balancing of out of charges services as its obligations; NIPOST became an administrative behemoth, whose financial objective was to balance its accounts. The organization of NIPOST takes into account its obligation to provide a public service while guarding jealously its exclusive rights because of this posture liberalization becomes difficult. However several reasons of historical, economical and social militate against the liberalization of postal sector, this monopoly maybe justified in so far as economy of scale remains significant in this sphere and also the fact NIPOST employs a significant number of the populace."
September 30, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that "The Post Office today launches its own credit card via its 14,600-strong branch network. The credit card is the latest roll-out from the Post Office's joint venture with Bank of Ireland which was formalised 18 months ago. The joint venture has seen the Post Office start selling foreign exchange, personal loans, and home and car insurance." See also The Guardian and The Independent.
September 30, 2005 -- According to PublicTechnology.net, "OGC Buying Solutions is working in close collaboration with OGC, Department for Work & Pensions, HM Revenue & Customs and other Government departments on a project to provide a suite of Postal Services frameworks in the lead-up to full market deregulation of the UK letters market on 1st January 2006. Direct mail will be an important tool in 2006-2007 to drive take-up of e-Government services, for both local authorities and central government departments. Frameworks will be awarded on a pan-governmental basis (Central Civil Government and wider Public Sector) although it is anticipated that their use will be ‘on merit’ based on value for money gains and quality of service provided. It is estimated that the UK Government (including wider Public Sector) spends an estimated £750m pa on Post, Courier and Freight commodity. Initial research has demonstrated that savings ranging from 9% to 30% are achievable, depending upon the types of services used and volume profile of business." Now THAT's an interesting twist. Using mail to get people away from using the mail.
September 30, 2005 -- According to Reuters, "Dell Inc. will stop its practice of sending low-end computers to customers homes without charge in order to cut costs, the company said on Thursday. Starting on October 10, Dell's free shipping offer on basic models will apply only to people willing to pick up their computers at the post office, said Jennifer Davis, spokeswoman for Dell's U.S. consumer business. Customers will have to pay extra for home delivery."
September 30, 2005 -- From the Federal Register: "The Postal Service is seeking comments on a proposal that would affect mailers who prepare bundles of Periodicals, Standard Mail, and Package Services flat-size mail or irregular parcels on pallets. The proposal would not affect mailers who prepare sacks, unbundled parcels, or trays on pallets. Currently, mailers who prepare bundles of flat-size mail or bundles of irregular parcels on pallets must prepare a pallet if the mailing contains 500 or more pounds of bundles for a required sortation level. (``Sortation level'' refers to the distribution or separation of mail by ZIP Codes, range of ZIP Codes, or carrier route.) After all required pallets are prepared, mailers must place any remaining bundles in sacks. Under this proposal, before placing any bundles in sacks, if there are 250 or more pounds of bundles addressed within the ZIP Code range for an area distribution center (ADC) or a bulk mail center/auxiliary service facility (BMC/ASF), mailers must prepare the ADC pallet (for Periodicals) or the BMC/ASF pallet (for Standard Mail and Package Services). If a mailing does not contain any ADC or BMC/ASF pallets-- for example, the mailer has set the presort software to stop at the sectional center facility (SCF) level--but there are 250 or more pounds for an SCF, the mailer must prepare the SCF pallet. Comments must be received on or before October 31, 2005."
September 30, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service has launched a new delivery option that can save customers shipping costs on products they have ordered by agreeing to pick them up at a designated Post Office. "Hold For Pickup" meets the needs of cost-conscious mailers shipping high-value and heavyweight goods and the customers receiving them. A package delivered Hold For Pickup will be kept safely at the Post Office until the customer collects it. Items shipped using Hold For Pickup are delivered directly to the Post Office instead of customers' street address. This provides additional security for mailers who may not want expensive products left at a customer's door. "Hold For Pickup is another way we are transforming our products and services to better meet the needs of our customers," said Nick Barranca, Vice President, Product Development. "The advantages are cost savings to the shipper, customer convenience, and security for both the business client and the consumer." Hold For Pickup parcels are shipped to a designated Post Office where they can be picked up by the customer within 10 calendar days.
September 30, 2005 -- You can find a copy of the powerpoing presentation given to the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors on the USPS' integrated financial plan for FY 2006 on the USPS web site.
September 30, 2005 -- According to Les Echos, "Chronopost, the parcel forwarding subsidiary of French postal service operator La Poste, has announced over 300 job cuts as part of a restructuring plan."
September 29, 2005 -- Federal Times has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service’s “eleventh-hour criticisms’’ of postal reform legislation have surprised reform supporters on Capitol Hill, who appear adamant that the biggest change the Postal Service is seeking will not take place. “It is very disconcerting,” Robert Taub, spokesman for Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y., said of the Sept. 13 letter the Postal Service Board of Governors sent the House Government Reform Committee outlining “several issues that bear further consideration” before it could endorse either the House or Senate versions of postal reform. “The Postal Service’s eleventh-hour criticisms are disappointing,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, adding that the Senate bill had been carefully crafted and balanced."
September 29, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "The Mailing Industry CEO Council today commended the leadership and employees of the United States Postal Service for heroic action to restore mail services to businesses and citizens displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Amidst widespread destruction across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the U.S. Postal Service once again reaffirmed its universal mission to deliver the mail, the members of the CEO Council said."
September 29, 2005 -- PostCom vice president Kate Muth has explained "how the Postal Service can have both a net income in the same year that it will have a revenue deficiency, which is not the same as a net loss. It’s the escrow, stupid! Correct that: It’s the stupid escrow."
September 29, 2005 -- The powerpoint presentation delivered before the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors by the USPS' vice president of strategic planning has been posted on this site.
September 29, 2005 -- In his latest postal commentator, DM News columnist Cary Baer wrote: "history has shown that not all the nominees to the board or the PRC have had the background either through education, training or experience that a governor or a commissioner should have. But as long as they had a clean resume, the Senate approved them. As a result, we — the mailing industry — periodically have been saddled with nominees to these important posts who were not up to the task."
September 29, 2005 -- Media Week has reported that "The Royal Mail has offered an olive branch to at least one area of the magazine industry by giving a 15% discount to customer magazines that use the postal system. Customer mag publishers will get a 15% discount on postal costs if they use the Royal Mail to distribute a least two editions of their magazines during 2006. Publishers will also be able to qualify for a further 2% discount if the first edition is mailed out before the end of 2005. The move comes amid increasing bitterness between the postal authorities and the Periodical Publishers' Association after confirmation earlier this month that size-based pricing would introduced next summer."
September 29, 2005 -- According to the National Business Review, "If you're still using postal mail, here's your chance to get famous -- or make your family and friends into collector's items. Wellington Web services company 3months.com has teamed up with the New Zealand Post Online Channel team to provide "personalised" stamps carrying the picture of your choice."
September 29, 2005 -- The BBC Monitoring Service has reported that:
The government has issued a decision, approving the separation of the post sector from the existing Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Corporation (VNPT) by 2007. Under the decision, coded 236/2005/QD-TTg, all economic sectors, both domestic and foreign, will be encouraged to develop the post industry. Foreign investors will be permitted to set up wholly foreign-owned businesses in the field. The decision says that apart from postal services, the post sector will focus on financial services, including pension payments and collection services for premiums and electricity, telephone and water charges.
Russian Central Electoral Commission head Aleksandr Veshnyakov is ashamed of the work of Moscow's post office. This was his comment following the fact that a letter in which [jailed former head of the Yukos oil company Mikhail] Khodorkovskiy stated his intentions to stand in the elections to the Russian State Duma, sent from the Matrosskaya Tishina remand centre way back on 15 September, only reached the addressee yesterday. In other words, the letter, sent from Moscow to a Moscow address, took more than two weeks to reach its destination.
September 29, 2005 -- As one unhappy writer to the Port Huron Times Herald noted, "Recently, the U.S. Postal Service instituted a new mail-forwarding service. With a $10 enrollment fee and $10 per week to receive mail while we are away could cost $200-plus, if we are gone for four months. Please call the Consumers Affairs Office at (248) 336-3147 to register a complaint to this ridiculous idea! Postage already has been paid on our mail! Suggest the post office hold the mail and send it once a week at no charge - not just first-class mail, but all mail." I don't think she's happy.
September 29, 2005 -- Talk about your problems with public perception. The DM Bulletin has reported that "The industry must do more to explain the benefits of 'targeted direct marketing' to consumers after industry research showed that only a tiny minority of consumers agree the medium has benefits. The survey, by CACI and database marketing consultancy The Customer Partnership, comes as the DMA independently prepares to launch a consumer-facing campaign next month to counter misconceptions and show that campaigns are targeted and relevant. Despite the fact that 44.8% of consumers surveyed said that they had made a purchase as a result of direct marketing, the majority described themselves as very irritated about direct marketing from companies they had no relationship with. Even when it came from companies with which they already had a relationship with, the majority of consumers felt neutral about it and many more felt irritated."
September 29, 2005 -- The Institut D'economie Industrielle (IDEI) of the Université Toulouse will be holding its Fourth Conference on « Regulation, Competition and Universal Service in the Postal Sector » at Toulouse, France on March 16-17, 2006. The conference is sponsored by La Poste and is intended (i) To discuss recent theoretical and applied research dealing with competition regulation and universal service in the postal sector (ii). To provide a forum of discussion and dialogue between practionners and academic researchers. The main topics will include: * Industrial economics and econometrics of the postal sector. * Competition policy in a liberalized sector. * Universal service and competition: cost, extent, financing,* Pricing and price regulation. * Services of general interest in a competitive environment.
September 29, 2005 -- As the Virginian Pilot has noted, "Many of today’s mergers involve acquisitions that build upon an established line of business. Overnite, for example, caught the attention of United Parcel Service because the trucking company provided something that UPS didn’t – nationwide delivery of heavy freight.
September 29, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "DHL Worldwide Express is planning to open a new front in its competition with United Parcel Service Corp. and FedEx Corp. by launching a chain of retail outlets in the U.S., the Financial Times reported in an article on its Web site Tuesday. The German courier company believes it needs a bricks-and-mortar presence in the U.S. to woo customers from the two main domestic operators. John Pearson, vice president of commercial operations, said DHL had yet to decide how many stores it needed but the number could reach the thousands, the FT reported. "We are in the process of mapping out where we need to be and what is realistic," he told the FT."
September 29, 2005 -- The International Herald Tribune has said that "Business competition on the Web just got more interesting. As online sales of just about everything from television sets to cases of Châteauneuf-du-Pape have exploded in recent years, manufacturers and service providers have generally shown great restraint in going head to head against their own best customers. Now, though, FedEx is plunging into the fray with a great deal less delicacy about ruffling the feathers of the big office supply companies that send so much business its way.
September 29, 2005 -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that "In a move that could sting UPS, Dell, the nation's biggest computer maker, plans to ship many computers to U.S. post offices for customer pickup, rather than directly to buyers' homes. That will shift some shipments away from Sandy Springs-based UPS, currently Dell's primary deliverer for computers. The computer maker is unsure how many computer shipments will ultimately be affected, Dell spokesman Andy North said Tuesday. Dell is one of UPS' biggest and most important customers. UPS declined to say how much revenue it gets from the computer maker, but that the amount has been growing annually."
September 29, 2005 -- According to one report in Handelsblatt, "United Parcel Service (UPS), the US parcel forwarding company, enjoys the most favourable image among logistics service providers on the German market, according to the annual survey by the market research institute Emnid involving 300 logistics managers. The German shipping and logistics company Hapag-Lloyd Container Line ranks second, while Lufthansa Cargo, the freight arm of the airline group Deutsche Lufthansa, ranks third. They are followed by DPD Deutscher Paketdienst, which belongs to the French group La Poste, US group Federal Express (Fedex) and Hermes, a subsidiary of the German mail order group Otto. DHL, the German market leader, ranks only 11th with a verdict of 'average'. "
September 29, 2005 -- The Sacramento Bee has noted that "United Parcel Service Inc. says it is going green in the Sacramento area. The Atlanta-based company has finished installing computer software and hardware at its Shore Road distribution center that maps out shorter delivery routes. "Package-flow technology" uses digital information produced by scanning UPS labels to plan routes that require the fewest number of miles to complete. UPS estimates the new technology will lop off 260,000 miles from the 4.5 million miles logged by its Sacramento-area drivers each year, save 30,000 gallons of fuel and reduce truck emissions by 288 metric tons."
September 29, 2005 -- The Minneapolis Business Journal has reported that "Randy Holst owns United Parcel Service's best-performing store in Minnesota. Nationally, he's ranked among the company's 100 top-grossing stores. But business has been better. "My profitability has definitely decreased. ... I would say substantially," he said. Profits are down at least 30 percent. Holst -- like many UPS franchisees throughout the country -- is feeling squeezed, due to a franchise shake-up following Atlanta-based UPS' acquisition of Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE) in 2001."
September 29, 2005 -- According to one writer for the Lincoln Tribune, "Once again, the Post Office is raising rates, this time 2 cents or 5.4% in January of next year. With constantly rising prices and lackluster service, is it any surprise that the Postal Service continues to decline in volume? Since 1950, the U.S. Inflation Rate has been 1,000%, while the rate on first class stamps has climbed 1,250%, or 25% faster than the inflation rate. How many other industries can continue to increase prices year after year faster than inflation? In most cases, more efficient competitors would rush in and take customers. The Post Office only stays afloat because of government laws prohibiting competition in first class mail service."
September 29, 2005 -- According to the Western Mail, "CORPORATE Social Responsibility is not a clever marketing device, but a concept which can help save a failing company, according to one of the leading figures in the Royal Mail. Steve Boorman believes placing CSR at the heart of the company's operations helped change it from a bureaucratic behemoth with massive losses and a poor safety record, into an enterprise with record profits. "
September 29, 2005 -- The Interactive Investor has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc chairman and chief executive Michael Eskew said yesterday he would not "rule out" making a hostile bid for any large European logistics company. The US parcels delivery giant has been linked with Exel PLC, the British supply chain group that last week agreed a 3.7 bln stg takeover by Deutsche Post AG, and has retained Goldman Sachs to advise it. Sources close to the company however told the paper its interest in Exel had been "overblown", indicating the firm was looking to "fill holes" in its international operations but not take on such a "huge" firm as Exel."
September 29, 2005 -- From the NewsWire: "A Maine letter carrier who used his Navy life-saving skills to prevent an injured motorcyclist from bleeding to death, was honored today as the National Hero of the Year by the National Association of Letter Carriers at an award ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill hotel."
September 29, 2005 -- According to Government Computer News, "Career employees, not government contractors, will perform the bulk of the U.S. Postal Service’s IT management. In its Strategic Transformation Plan 2006-2010, approved Tuesday by the Postal Service board of governors, the agency said it will reduce costs and streamline operations by transitioning its IT infrastructure from “high-cost IT contractors” to in-house staff. "
September 29, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "The U.S. Postal Service and two of its unions have reached agreements that address employee reassignment and other work issues resulting from Hurricane Katrina. The agreements -- which include guidelines on postal workers seeking employment in new locations due to Katrina's destruction and evacuations -- are with the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU). "
September 29, 2005 -- The Peninsula has reported that "The much awaited express delivery of mail by motorcycle mounted couriers was launched in Doha by Qatar's General Postal Corporation (Q-Post), a press release, said here yesterday. These couriers will deliver priority local mail and Qatar Post Premium (QPP) articles to the doorstep of the addressee."
September 29, 2005 -- El Pais has reported that "The adviser of the Association of Postal Operators of Uruguay, Pablo Riveiro, said to RadioSarandí that the postal market does not have sufficient controls.The adviser of the gremial said that in the market "there are many pirates" because almost controls do not exist and the obligations of the companies are not defined that offer postal services."
September 28, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "House Republicans rejected a Democratic resolution to name a post office in Berkeley, California, after a longtime local activist and city councilwoman, saying 94-year-old Maudelle Shirek doesn't represent American values."
September 28, 2005 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "THE Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVAF) in conjunction with NamPost will train postal staff in how to handle motor accident claims. NamPost's Manager for Agency Services Benjamin Jacobs confirmed the arrangement between his institution and MVAF."
September 28, 2005 -- RIA Novosti has reported that "The net profits of national postal operator Russian Mail in the first six months of 2005 totaled more than 1 billion rubles ($35 million), the company's general director said Wednesday. Igor Syrtsov told a news conference this result had been achieved due to a restructuring of federal mail service organizations that were united to form a single national postal service. "
September 28, 2005 -- The U.S. Senate has approved legislation sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) that would extend the Breast Cancer Research Stamp for another two years.
September 28, 2005 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "DHL, the parcel subsidiary of German postal services provider Deutsche Post, is to set up thousands of branches in the US in order to win customers from US rivals UPS and FedEx. DHL currently offers its services in the US through nearly 4,000 independent stores and the Office Max retail chain. DHL has yet to decide how many own-brand branches it will set up, but believes the number could run into the thousands."
September 28, 2005 -- AFX has reported that "Japan's Nikkei could achieve levels near 18,000 over the next two years as economic benefits result from the privatisation of Japan Post."
September 28, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Royal Mail has come under fire for delaying investment in its urban post office network and leaving government money "lying idle" by spending only £13m of £30m allocated for the work. The criticism by Postwatch, the consumer group, coincided with the start of talks between the publicly owned postal operator and unions over further job losses."
September 28, 2005 -- Well, one writer for the Express & Star Midlands may complain about getting too much direct mail, but at least he's shown some realization of the value direct mail means to a post.
September 28, 2005 -- Forex News has reported that "Post Danmark AS and the UK's CVC Capital Partners are close to buying a 49 pct stake in the Belgium postal services, De Post - La Poste, daily Jyllands-Posten reported, citing Post Danmark chairman, Fritz Schur. The shareholding in De Post - La Poste has been put up for sale by the Belgium government. Post Danmark and CVC Capital Partners have been negotiating with the Belgians over the weekend and Schur told the daily that he expects to call a board meeting as soon as next week in order to have the deal cleared." See also Forbes.
September 28, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Things apparently got hot as Deutsche Post's CEO Klaus Zumwinkel revealed his irritation with the barrage of questions he encountered during an interview with the German weekly news magazine "Der Spiegel". Mr Zumwinkel also appeared to be opposed to the partial access to the postal network ordered by the Cartel Office.
Post Danmark intends to axe 1,000 jobs before the beginning of next year. The Danish trade union 3F believes that such drastic cuts - almost 5% of the total work force - are unrealistic.
Poste Italiane "is unlikely to go public at short notice". The Italian post's supervisory board chairman Vittorio Mincato thus rejected renewed speculations concerning an IPO at short notice. "We're working on it but we need more time", said Mr Mincato. "It's still too early to set a date." Finance and Industry minister Siniscalco has said that the autumn of 2006 was the earliest date for a privatisation.
Poczta Polska achieved a net profit of 82.2m euros during the first half of 2005. The figure represents a 15% increase on the previous year.
Britain's Royal Mail intends to offer tracking & tracing for direct mail in future.
The internationalisation of the French La Poste's express and parcel subsidiaries operating as GeoPost appears to come along successfully. GeoPost is expected to announce the conclusion of its first co-operation agreement with an overseas partner in the next few days. According to information gleaned by the CEP News, contracts were signed this month with Estafeta, a leading operator in Mexico.
FedEx achieved a 3% increase in net profit to 282.1m euros during the first quarter (June - August) of the current financial year. The turnover went up by 10% to 6.42bn euros. CEO Frederick Smith spoke with confidence about business prospects. The integrator has put up profit expectations for the whole financial year as a result of the favourable figures. However, market observers point to the fact that FedEx suffered an 8% drop in profit for its main segment - FedEx Express - despite an 11% increase in turnover. The parcel segment saw only a small profit increase (+ 1%) on a 14% turnover growth.
Aviainform, a research and consulting enterprise specialising in the aviation industry, and MRU, consultants to the CEP market, are entering a close co-operation on 1 October. The two partners label their co-operation a "guarantor for information, competence and knowledge". As experts in their respective fields, the two companies see their co-operation as a logical continuation of quality and performance features acquired during many years in the business: "The airfreight and express markets are increasingly merging and our customers are entitled to expect us to be able to see beyond the end of our own nose", said Horst Manner-Romberg, managing proprietor of MRU GmbH. The new co-operation enables airlines, carriers, express operators, postal service providers and commercial airports to access a joint information pool. "As internationally renowned enterprises with a distinctive quality and service approach, aviainform and MRU have therefore decided to work together", said Dirk Steiger, aviainform's managing director. "We are now for the first time in a position to offer our clients a real one-stop market insight solution."
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.
September 28, 2005 -- The Austin American-Stateman has reported that "Dell Inc. plans to ship many of its computers to U.S. post offices for customer pickup, rather than directly to buyers' homes via UPS. Dell often has provided free UPS delivery of computers to customer homes, with additional fees for handling or for rush deliveries. Under the new plan, with the exception of higher-end computers, the free delivery will go only as far as some post offices, Dell spokesman Andy North said. Dell said it expects to begin shipping its first computers to post offices as early as October. North said the change was made in response to consumer concerns about the hassle of not being home when UPS tried to make deliveries. In those cases, UPS would leave a note, giving consumers the option of further delivery attempts or picking up the high-dollar package themselves at UPS terminals. Under the new plan, customers won't have as far to drive to make a pickup, North said. "Post offices are pretty much in every neighborhood and generally much closer than a UPS depot."
September 28, 2005 -- The latest issue of PostCom's PostOps Update has been posted on this site. In this issue:
September 28, 2005 -- A copy of the U.S. Postal Service's Integrated Financial Plan for PFY 2006 has been posted on this site.
September 28, 2005 -- According to Morgan Stanley, "Following up on a new U.S. Postal Service (USPS) initiative that we highlighted back in August, we believe the USPS is close to announcing a new shipping alternative with a large computer manufacturer/retailer that will allow it to handle highvalue shipments, potentially taking share in the ground parcel market (which should negatively impact UPS more than FDX)."
September 28, 2005 -- Ahmedabad Online has reported that "after a significant drop in regular mails and its revenue, the Postal Department has decided to use its vast infrastructure and manpower to increase revenue and revamp itself by foraying into a number of services other than just delivering mails. Retail post is a service whereby the post office premises will be used by private companies for selling their products on a commission set by the department."
September 27, 2005 -- According to GovExec.com, "The American Postal Workers Union, a long-time supporter of postal overhaul legislation, is echoing concerns expressed by the Postal Service's Board of Governors, signaling the broad coalition behind the House and Senate bills might be weakening. Other unions, including the National Association of Letter Carriers, said they had similar concerns, but lambasted the board for presenting its criticisms at the last minute and offering no other solutions to the agency's financial woes."
September 27, 2005 -- From the USPS Board of Governors meeting:
The Postal Service expects a net income of $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2006, with revenue growing by 3.4% in the year, primarily due to the higher rates that, for budget purposes, are expected to take effect in January 2006, Chief Financial Officer Richard Strasser told the Board of Governors at its open meeting today. Strasser discussed the USPS' Integrated Financial Plan for FY 2006, which also included the capital commitments budget for the year and the financing plan.
Other highlights from the plan include:
- The USPS expects to end this fiscal year with volume of 212 billion pieces, the highest volume in postal history and a 5.5 billion-piece increase over last year. The volume increase was driven by Standard Mail growth.
- Volume is expected to total 213 billion pieces in FY 2006, with an estimated 2.4% drop in First Class but a 3.6% increase in Standard Mail.
- Expenses are expected to grow by $3.4 billion, but USPS intends to offset that growth by about $1.1 billion through its cost reduction effort. Net expense growth is planned for $2.3 billion.
- USPS' financing plan for FY 2006 indicates that the Postal Service will pay the $3.1 billion escrow payment through a combination of cash from the current year ($2.5 billion) and cash from the prior year ($600 million). Current year cash is determined by taking cash from operations less capital cash outlays plus additional debt
In other action, the board approved the Postal Service's Strategic Transformation Plan for 2006-2010. Vice President of Strategic Planning Linda Kingsley said "the plan focuses on the basics, often in new ways." The plan focuses on the core business and strategies that the USPS sees as best opportunities for results. The four sections in the report focus on: (1) Generate revenue, (2) Reduce costs, and Achieve results with a customer-focused, performance-based culture.
See also the Associated Press
September 27, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire:
September 27, 2005 -- The Emirates News Agency has reported that "Emirates Post was one of the key participants in a UPU-sponsored conference on IT programmes for the development of IT programmes for postal marketing in Arab countries held in Cairo from September 19 to 21, in association with Swiss Post."
September 27, 2005 -- As GovExec.com has noted, "agencies involved in the [Katrina] relief effort have relied on additions to previously awarded contracts. For example, a subsidiary of Pitney Bowes, a Stamford, Conn.-based document management company, held a contract with the Postal Service to handle change-of-address services. After Hurricane Katrina, the service asked Pitney Bowes to set up a special program for people who were forced to move because of the hurricane. According to Pitney Bowes, 150,000 people have used the new program.'
September 27, 2005 -- The Independent has reported that "As the Royal Mail prepares to lose its monopoly on postal delivery, there are suggestions that the position of its chairman, the millionaire businessman Allan Leighton, right, will become untenable. Questions are being raised over a conflict of interest between Leighton's role at Royal Mail and another of his directorships - BSkyB. The satellite broadcaster has just signed a deal with one of Royal Mail's competitors, TNT, to deliver letters to its millions of customers, leading to cries of a conflict of interest. Yesterday, the Communication Workers' Union's General Secretary, Billy Hayes, told Pandora: "It is hardly going to inspire people to have faith in his leadership at Royal Mail if he's the director of a company that is giving its business elsewhere."
September 27, 2005 -- According to The Times, "ROYAL MAIL is set to announce more job losses, this time at its cash-handling division which is the subject of a new review by the postal operator, The Times has learnt. The operation, which employs 2,000 people, has shrunk over the past couple of years largely because of the Government's decision to pay most benefits direct into claimants' bank accounts."
September 26, 2005 -- Reuters has noted that "United Parcel Service of the United States won permission from the European Commission on Monday to buy British parcel carrier Lynx Express for 55.5 million pounds ($96.5 million) in cash."
September 26, 2005 -- The Manila Times has reported that "AN executive of a United States package delivery firm said President Arroyo promised foreign investors that the Philippine government would resolve issues on tax incentives to businesses next month. In a roundtable with editors and reporters of The Times, Gillian Sim, United Parcel Service managing director for the Philippines, said this was what President Arroyo told business executives in New York."
September 26, 2005 -- American Postal Workers Union President William Burrus told his members that "if final [postal reform] legislation does not provide the USPS with "real flexibility and authority," the Postal Service would be better off under current law. Burrus reiterated the union's long-standing opposition to granting excessive power to a proposed Postal Regulatory Board. He said the union shares several of the concerns expressed by the USPS Board of Governors in a letter dated Sept. 13. The Board of Governors' letter has caused consternation among some proponents of postal reform who fear it may derail legislation they have sought for many years. "I can't understand why they waited so long to articulate their views," Burrus said, "but several of their concerns are valid. And a bad bill is not worth having."
September 26, 2005 -- The Clarion-Ledger has reported that "To most folks, the mountains of rubble along U.S. 90 look the same. But Deborah Johnson knows what the splintered boards, ruined furniture and tumbled bricks once were. Johnson, 42, has delivered the mail in Biloxi for 12 years. Since Hurricane Katrina, though, some of her route is barely recognizable. The postal worker lost at least 200 of 1,100 customers. A month after Katrina, the Postal Service is still struggling to connect customers with their mail, storing as much as they deliver on some routes and hoping for more change-of-address cards. They've received more than 25,000 so far, but manager Jerry Wiecks says he is still running out of places to stash the backlog. In some southern Mississippi neighborhoods, carriers were back on their beats two days after the storm. In Biloxi, though, workers emptied mud-soaked mail from collection boxes, dried it on the floor over several days and put as much as possible back into circulation. Two-and-a-half weeks later, they started delivering."
September 26, 2005 -- According to the Center for Media Research, "In the "advance Holiday '05 Outlook," it appears that the devastation in the Gulf, rising pump prices, and forecasted increases in home heating costs this winter have consumers thinking more conservatively this season.
September 26, 2005 -- The Times has reported that "ROYAL MAIL'S 200,000 employees are expected to be given a 20 per cent stake in the business in a move that will spark union fears that the organisation is being prepared for privatisation."
September 26, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "TNT NV announced a new investigation into possibly illegal tax matters, which it said could have a material impact on its results. The Dutch logistics and postal company said it is preparing a tax probe that will cover U.K. tax matters that weren't addressed in a 2004 investigation as well as tax matters at subsidiaries outside the U.K. The company, the principal mail provider in the Netherlands and the world's second-largest logistics provider by revenue after Exel PLC, of the U.K., wouldn't put a figure on the impact of the investigation. On top of the tax issues, TNT is facing problems with its logistics operations in France. It also has been struggling to keep up with a consolidating sector and recently lost out to a private-equity firm for a 25% stake in Denmark's postal company."
September 26, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "New Zealand's Post Group's net profit after tax of NZ$137.2 million from a revenue of $1,208.9 million was driven by the continued strong performance of the Postal Services Group and the first year profit of Kiwibank, and included a gain on divestment of $78.6 million from the successful joint venture with DHL for Express Couriers Limited."
September 26, 2005 -- As Reuters has noted, "Backed by a landslide election victory, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told parliament on Monday he is determined to push ahead with privatising Japan's postal system and other reforms. He had cast the election as a referendum on the privatisation of Japan Post, a financial services giant with $3 trillion in assets, and has resolved to have postal reform bills passed by the time the special parliament session ends on November 1." See also the Associated Press.
September 26, 2005 -- According to Zawya, "Express and logistics major DHL is pushing to boost business in Abu Dhabi with investments topping Dh7 million in the last three years."
September 25, 2005 -- According to the Naples Daily News, "The Postal Service is quietly delivering the word to the area's building and real estate industry that house-by-house delivery will not be made to new subdivisions of eight or more houses. They will get their mail at clubhouses or other cluster mailbox centers — long the norm for apartments and condos. Existing neighborhoods' curbside mailbox delivery is safe, the Post Office says. A spokesman for the Naples Post Office says the move is aimed at preventing identity theft from mail left sitting and exposed in curbside boxes, and keeping down the cost of postage. He says it costs a national average of $184 to service a traditional mailbox customer each year, compared to $127 per year for a cluster mailbox customer. He says each penny per gallon gas price increase costs the postal service $27,000 per day or $8 million per year for traditional service nationwide. Spokesman Don Affolder, who at first last week said the policy leaves a little discretion for local postmasters and is not completely in force across the board, a few hours later said it is. "Some of the developers aren't real happy, as it turns out," he said. He's got that right."
September 25, 2005 -- One writer for The Observer has claimed that "It is surely pointless to saddle an organisation bending the laws of physics with goals as prosaic as co-operation and efficiency. Why not just build a new Royal Mail from scratch - modelled after, say, FedEx, which is so tediously competent that in 2020, in a John Updike novel, Toward the End of Time, it has replaced the bumbling US government in law enforcement and social services administration? Today's Royal Mail might simply be unreformable."
September 25, 2005 -- The government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is planning to render inexpensive and high quality postal, telecommunications and data services nationwide, said the deputy minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), according to Iran Daily.
September 24, 2005 -- Check out the report on the Universal Postal Union's contribution toward the Millenium Declaration which has been posted on the PostInsight web site.
September 24, 2005 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Federal Express Corp. (FDX) said Friday it expects $2.5 billion in capital expenditures in the current fiscal year. The company also announced a $456 million contribution to its U.S. domestic pension plans and warned that Hurricane Katrina may affect its second-quarter earnings, according to its quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission."
September 24, 2005 -- The Day has reported that "The New London U.S. Postal Customer Council is offering a seminar intended for small and mid-size business mailers. The seminar will offer instruction on the basics of mailing, preparing mailings and designing a mailing piece. Experts will be on hand to help mailers learn how to reduce costs through addressing and processing to most efficient methods."
September 24, 2005 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "FEARS over security and personal safety is causing many postmasters and postmistresses in rural areas to consider leaving the business, the Irish Postmasters' Union (IPU) has said. The warning came after overnight raids on two post offices."
September 24, 2005 -- According to Dave Barnes, senior VP and CIO at UPS, "Social responsibility is core to UPS and its technology strategy."
September 24, 2005 -- The Hartford Courant has noted that "Relying more and more on e-mail, blogs, websites, instant messaging and other electronic forms of communication, students at all levels are forgetting the fine art of handwriting, educators say. Cursive script, the graceful looping style that connects one letter to another, might be going the way of the inkwell and the fountain pen."
September 24, 2005 -- The Scotsman has reported that "A consumer group has marked the 100 day countdown to full competition in the postal industry by predicting a "revolution" which will give people greater choice over who delivers their mail. Postwatch said competition already introduced into the market had improved the quality of services, kept prices in check and stimulated "much needed" innovation. The watchdog said it expected the momentum to continue after full competition is introduced on January 1."
September 24, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Neither rain ... nor floods or hurricanes will stay the U.S. Postal Service from connecting people to their mail. Following the same steps it took to minimize mail disruption during Hurricane Katrina, the Postal Service is moving to protect its employees and the mail in the path of Hurricane Rita. Mail destined for Houston and other areas in the expected path of Rita's landfall is being held at its place of origin in order to protect as many mail pieces as possible. Postal operations in any area covered by a mandatory evacuation order have been suspended. This includes delivery, collection, Post Office box and retail services, and mail processing. Mail currently in facilities in Rita's path, along with postal vehicles and equipment, are being moved to higher ground in anticipation of flooding. Local postal officials are working with state and federal authorities to track weather and transportation issues to determine if other service adjustments are necessary. Those seeking the latest information on service updates can find it at: http://www.usps.com/communications/news/serviceupdates.htm. After the storm passes, the Postal Service is ready to return to normal operations as quickly and safely as possible."
September 24, 2005 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "Yellow Transportation launched a new door-to-door 1, 2 and 3-day expedited air forwarding service, called Expedited Direct. As an added benefit of Expedited Direct, customers can track shipments from end-to-end."
September 24, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Postal regulator Postcomm and the industry's consumer watchdog Postwatch are preparing for the opening up of the postal market next year by urging firms to get more information about the range of suppliers. The two bodies want small- and medium-sized business, especially those that send more than 500 items a day, to take advantage of the full opening up of the market to competition and an end to Royal Mail's monopoly this January. Postcomm chairman Nigel Stapleton said: "Opening the mail market to competition will create a more vibrant postal market in the UK. It will introduce choice to a market that has been a monopoly for 350 years."
September 24, 2005 -- According to Direct, "Direct mail spending will grow by a robust 7.5% in 2005, according to a new report from Winterberry Group. Trends including the upcoming postal hike, possible new data legislation and production overcapacity are affecting direct mail volumes across all vertical markets, according to the report."
September 24, 2005 -- Les Echos has reported that "Four French banks - Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole SA and Groupe Banque Populaire - have written to the French prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, offering to distribute France's national savings account, Livret A, for a deposit-based commission of only 0.8 per cent. The account, whose deposits are used to fund French social housing projects, is currently available only via the French post office, La Poste, and the French co-operative bank Caisse d'Epargne."
September 24, 2005 -- According to the Financial Times, "TNT may have changed its name, but it continues to be haunted by its past. The Dutch postman's ongoing tax saga has just taken another gloomy turn, knocking €500m off the group's market capitalisation. Its last annual report already hinted at further liabilities anywhere between zero and €400m, linked to past tax filings of several subsidiaries. Now, the mail and logistics group's inquiries have revealed the likelihood of illegal acts. More worryingly, attention has shifted to several non-UK subsidiaries, which remain unidentified."
September 24, 2005 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "DHL, the express and logistics subsidiary of German postal service operator Deutsche Post, expects to be able to begin work on the construction of a new hub for its air freight activities in Leipzig in January."
September 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.
September 23, 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.
September 23, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL has opened a new customer service centre in Chennai, India. The new 27,000 sq ft facility will serve 43 courier routes and 3,000 shipments per day. Chennai is the third largest market for DHL in India and accounts for 70 per cent of its business in the state. Clothing, apparels and textiles contribute over 30% to the total business in the state. Other key contributors were automobiles, industrial machinery and electronics."
September 23, 2005 -- In a letter to the chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, American Postal Workers Union President William Burrus wrote:
"I am writing on behalf of postal workers represented by the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO (the APWU) to address issues related to postal reform legislation that have been raised by the United States Postal Service. The APWU is appreciative ofthe strong leadership, insight, and determination you have brought to the difficult task of amending the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970. We are deeply grateful to you for standing by the principle offree collective bargaining and for resisting the efforts to institutionalize worksharing that exceeds the postal cost avoided.
"We are writing now to advise you that we share several of the concerns expressed by the Board of Governors' letter dated September 13, 2005. We have consistently maintained that the legislation in both houses of Congress must leave the Governors with the authority they will need to oversee the business of the Postal Service. While we strongly disagreewith the USPS recommendation to repeal SectionlOo5(f) of Title 39, we agree with the Governors that despite all the hard work, if the final legislation does not provide "real flexibility and authority, the Postal Service would be better positioned to build on recent progress in generating revenue and controlling costs under current law."
September 23, 2005 -- Be sure to check the USPS web site for the information on mail service changes in Texas and Louisiana.
September 23, 2005 -- The Sunday Times has reported that "The South African Post Office made a 135 million rand profit from trading operations for the financial year ended March 2005 - an improvement of 108 million rand on last year. It was the Post Office's second year of profitability."
September 23, 2005 -- TVNZ has reported that "New Zealand Post has paid the government a dividend of $50 million after notching up a record profit of $137.2 million. The result was driven by strong performance of the Postal Services Group and the maiden year profit of Kiwibank. The profit included a one-off gain $78.6 million from the sale of Express Couriers to the joint venture with Germany's DHL. Chief Executive John Allen says the result is significant given that it includes positive performances from across the group and was achieved despite ongoing challenges such as increasing competition, wage and inflationary increases, and rising cost pressures." See also Scoop.co.nz, New Zealand Herald, and Reuters.
September 23, 2005 -- The Adrenaline Vault has reported that "Document Command, Inc. and a team of volunteers is launching a free service called Remote Control Mail ™ to help provide continuity of important U.S. Postal Mail to Hurricane Katrina/Rita evacuees and businesses impacted by these storms. Unfortunately, the U.S. Postal Service is unable to accommodate the flood of mail and the geographical extent of Katrina's damage has led to the largest stockpile of undeliverable mail in history. Hurricane evacuees and relief workers can gain reliable access to their postal mail (which may include insurance checks, social security checks, FEMA paperwork, medicines, etc.), by using the Remote Control Mail service to securely view their important U.S. mail using a computer located anywhere in the world even though they may lack a permanent mailing address for an extended period of time. To take advantage of the service, people in the disaster area can sign up to have their mail forwarded to Remote Control Mail where images of their envelopes are scanned in a state-of-the-art, highly-secure, automated document processing facility. Then users simply log onto the Remote Control Mail website to view their electronic accounts and their mail to determine which pieces of mail they would like forwarded to their new location. Or, they could forward mail to multiple, new locations if they are forced to relocate again."
September 23, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "The Post Office(R) and The Gift Voucher Shop today announce an exciting new gift voucher service to help lift some of the gloom surrounding declining high street retail sales. The new gift voucher service will be available at all of the 14,600 Post Office(R) branches nationwide, giving the 28 million customers who visit the Post Office(R) every week access to an extensive range of high street retailers."
September 23, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "TNT NV, Europe's second-biggest express-package delivery company, said it has found evidence past tax transactions were handled illegally, sending the shares down as much as 8.1 percent, the most in four years."
September 23, 2005 -- According to CBS4Denver, "As gas prices hang around the $3 a gallon mark, experts say you can improve your gas mileage by making your car, truck or SUV as light as possible. A CBS4 Investigation has found the U.S. Postal Service has been doing just the opposite, though. Some local mail delivery drivers have actually been carrying a lot of extra weight around, Brian Maass reports. When it's wintertime in Colorado, traction is king. That's why the U.S. Postal Service in Aurora began putting puzzle weights into its 73 delivery trucks years ago. Each small van is weighed down with an extra 288 pounds for better traction. CBS4 found that for the other 8 or 9 months of the year where there's no snow, the Aurora Post Office wasn't bothering to remove the weights." Must have been a slooooowww news day.
September 23, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "FedEx Ground, the small-package ground carrier of FedEx Corp, has opened a new 325,000 square foot distribution hub near Dallas in Hutchins, Texas. The $34 million hub is capable of processing up to 22,500 packages per hour and is equipped with high speed conveyors and camera-based scan tunnels to maximize package sorting rates. The Dallas facility is one of nine hubs to open as part of a network expansion plan that will include the relocation or expansion of more than 290 pickup and delivery terminals through 2010."
September 23, 2005 -- The Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation has reported that "Postal workers at the Eagle Hall, St. Michael office marched earlier this week venting their frustration about constantly having their bikes stolen. Today authorities at the Ministry of Home Affairs took heed and held a meeting with the postal officers and the Barbados Workers Union in an effort to solve the problem. The BWU says it expects a satisfactory solution to the problem of recurring theft of motorcycles owned by postal workers. Speaking to the media after the three-hour meeting, the BWU's Assistant General Secretary, Levere Richards said the union wants government to provide a back-up for officers who lose their vehicles."
September 23, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "The Direct Marketing Association (U.K.) is launching a consumer campaign to counter misconceptions surrounding the industry. The campaign has been launched to build confidence in the industry and reverse negative images of junk mail, cold calling and spam emails. Hotwire managing director Kristin Syltevik said: "The direct marketing industry is hugely important to the success of the UK economy however there are clearly serious consumer misconceptions that must be corrected."
September 23, 2005 -- The Miami Herald has noted that "Federated Department Stores Inc.'s takeover of May Department Stores looks like bad news for the newspaper industry, which already has been hurt by the years-long trend of reduced department store advertising. The operator of Macy's and Bloomingdale's says its advertising plans for its former rival still are not complete and that it won't necessarily reduce newspaper advertising. However, its conversion of stores under multiple names into the Macy's brand will allow nationwide ad campaigns, particularly on television, as Macy's will be in nearly all major TV markets with 850 stores. Merrill Lynch analyst Lauren Rich Fine said this week that Federated already appears to be shifting spending from newspapers to television and direct mail."
September 23, 2005 -- In a letter to the editor of the Troy Record, USPS V.P. for Public Affairs and Communication Azeez Jaffer wrote: "Recently, a column by Don Soifer, executive director of U.S. Consumer Postal Council appeared in your publication and it not only contained factual errors but showed no attempt to provide a balanced look at the U.S. Postal Service. This consumer council is affiliated with another organization, the Lexington Institute, whose mission is to limit the role of government in commerce. So, as one might expect, these groups believe that only profit-making companies have the best interest of consumers at heart. Ergo, the USPS, an independent establishment of the government, doesn't care about consumers and is an inefficient monopoly."
September 22, 2005 -- From PRWeb: "Astonishingmail, LLC through their greeting card and postcard Web site, Astonishingcards (www.astonishingcards.com) has created a new collection of greeting cards and postcard frames specifically for your pets. These 4" x 6" postcards are customized with your pet's photo, your special message, then printed in color and mailed via the US Mail to your recipients address the next business day. These professionally designed cards and frames will enhance your pet's photo and let you easily share your pet's antics with family and friends. Astonishingcards.com is a product of Astonishingmail, LLC. Astonishingmail is the developer of both online and offline direct mail and greeting cards programs for both business and consumers."
September 22, 2005 -- According to the Pioneer Press, "The U.S. Postal Service, vying for more market share in the global delivery business, is expanding operation hours at hundreds of high-traffic branches around the country. Last year, 2,500 post offices were equipped with automated kiosks that let customers weigh packages, look up zip codes, send Express Mail and buy stamps with their credit or debit card. The machines, kept in front lobbies with late hours, offered customers an option other than heading to competitor UPS, which bought out MailBoxes Etc. in 2001 and is expected to grow to 5,000 stores in 2007. Many of its existing stores have been operating 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. for some time. Online, the postal service is trying to match its competitors as well, now offering free delivery confirmation and home pickup requests on its Web site."
September 22, 2005 -- According to David Hendel of Wickwire Gavin LLP, the nation's experience with Katrina might make in order the suggestion that there is a new role the U.S. Postal Service can play in times of national emergency.
September 22, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service has posted its August 2005 financial statements on the USPS web site. But also be sure to check out the nice synopsis of the report posted on the PostalNews.com website.
September 22, 2005 -- The Springfield News-Leader has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is paying Springfield's mail handlers $330,000 in the final installment of a labor dispute that has dragged on for more than two years. Springfield's branch of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 297 previously received $170,000 for a total settlement worth half a million dollars. The $500,000 settlement is the largest the local union has ever won."
September 22, 2005 -- In his latest contribution to the PostCom Bulletin, Mail and Jobs Executive Director Peter Miller has noted that "There are few industries or services which have not been changed by the Internet. Travel agents, stockbrokers, car dealers, newspapers and book sellers have all evolved in the face of Internet speed and economics. The same was also supposed to happen to the mail system. But since Gates first published his book in the 1990s, a surprising thing has happened: The Internet has grown -- and so has the mailing system."
September 22, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "The ruling Liberal Democratic Party's policy panel endorsed without objection Thursday the postal privatization bills whose rejection by the Diet in August had precipitated the Sept 11 general election. The government plans to formalize the bills Monday and resubmit them immediately to the Diet as the major agenda for the 42-day parliamentary session that began Wednesday. The government has amended the bills to delay the start of the 10-year privatization process by six months to Oct 1, 2007, but not in its core elements of splitting Japan Post into four units and fully privatizing its financial operations in 10 years." See also AFX.
September 22, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "FedEx Corp. on Wednesday said first-quarter profit rose modestly, weighed down by an accounting charge, while revenue showed solid growth as daily package volume expanded. Domestic volume grew 4 percent while international volume increased 13 percent year over year."
September 22, 2005 -- WebIndia123 has reported that "Residents of Bhubaneshwar now don't have to stand in long queues to pay their telephone bills, as for the first time in the history of the Indian Postal Service, the Postal Department has launched the phone bill collection service in the state of Orissa. Henceforth, the postman will collect telephone bills from every household, besides performing their daily duty of delivering letters, parcels and even money orders."
September 21, 2005 -- A sign of the times.... The Washington Post has reported that "the New York Times Co. said yesterday that it would cut 500 positions in coming months, or 4 percent of its workforce, hours after the Philadelphia Inquirer announced a planned buyout of 15 percent of its newsroom staff, as two of the nation's largest newspapers tried to offset stagnant advertising revenue and sagging circulation endemic to the industry. National daily newspaper circulation has declined every year since 1987; the same is true of Sunday papers since 1990. Newspapers, once the only source of news, now compete not only with radio and network television, but also with numerous cable television networks and Internet news sources. In addition, other media -- satellite radio, computer games, DVDs, iPods and so forth -- sap time required for reading a daily paper. The death of evening newspapers across the country over the past three decades foretold the current slump. The nation's more than 8,000 daily and weekly newspapers also are bracing for a $35-per-metric-ton hike in the price of newsprint expected on Oct. 1."
September 21, 2005 -- According to Lusa, "Portugal's CTT is going to create an electronic post office box for each Portuguese citizen. About twelve million electrónicos addresses the Portuguese citizens and institutions will be distributed, the addresses will have legal validity and the system will be managed by the CTT."
September 21, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Deutsche Post's CEO Klaus Zumwinkel proudly presented the shareholders of Britain's Exel with his offer for a merger on Tuesday. Business rivals have spoken very critically of the intended acquisition.
The Swiss parliament has ordered the ministry in charge to make proposals during the first quarter of 2006 towards the further advancement of postal market liberalisation.
"Dynamic zonal pricing" is the term for a revolution about to hit the postal market.
The Spanish postal workers' union UGT has demanded that in view of higher petrol costs postmen in rural areas be given higher compensation for expenses. UGT claims that postmen in rural areas, who use their own vehicles (!), receive a compensation of 0.094 euros per kilometre which has remained unchanged since 2003. At the same time, however, the petrol price has gone up from 0.88 to 1.154 euros. Service and maintenance costs have also risen considerably.
GLS Austria has already opened 50 of its planned 500 parcel shops in Austria in the last two months (CEP News 36/05). Contracts are about to be completed for a further 40 shops, according to GLS.
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.
September 21, 2005 -- According to one writer in the Wall Street Journal, "For ordinary German mail users, though, privatization hasn't born fruit. That's because Deutsche Post has yet to give up its lucrative monopoly on letter delivery in Germany, which bars customers from taking their business elsewhere. As a result, Germans pay some of the world's highest postal rates -- more than twice as much as fellow EU citizens in Spain. Germans were promised otherwise. Deutsche Post won permission to expand by promising to give up its monopoly on letter delivery. Instead, the "yellow giant" leveraged the profits from its monopoly and other advantages -- like billions of dollars worth of real estate gifted to it by the government -- into global expansion."
September 21, 2005 -- According to The Independent, "Angry activists inflicted a second humiliating defeat on the Liberal Democrat leadership in as many days over its flagship proposals to privatise postal services." See also the Financial Times and The Guardian.
September 21, 2005 -- China Economic has reported that "On July 20th, 2005, the State Council discussed and passed in principle Program on the Reform of Postal System. The State Post Bureau will be rebuilt by separating government functions from enterprise management as the post supervision and management institution, China Post Group Company will be organized to manage postal services of various kinds, and the establishment of Post Office Savings Bank will be accelerated to regulate financing operations. In recent years,foreign express tycoons have gained more and more market share in China. To recapture the international express businesses, the Post Administration issued in succession in 2002 "Document No. 64" and "State United Document No. 472". The Post Administration demanded that all the domestic and foreign-funded express service providers should accept mandatory rule by the Administration. The four tycoons of DHL, UPS, FEDEX and TNT first stood up to protest with open statements against the claim of the Post Administration."
September 20, 2005 -- Suddeutsche Zeitung has reported that "DB Fuhrpark-Service, the subsidiary of German national railway company Deutsche Bahn responsible for managing the group's vehicles, is to cooperate with Mobility Solutions, the subsidiary of the Swiss postal service operator that manages the company's transport fleet. The two companies are planning to cooperate on the management of large fleets of vehicles and to develop their services further."
September 20, 2005 -- According to USA Today, "UPS shares survived bear market, but have struggled lately."
September 20, 2005 -- The Biloxi Sun Herald has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service has 15 post offices fully operational in the South Mississippi area, with six others offering limited service."
September 20, 2005 -- The Guardian has reported that "Liberal Democrats inflicted a second humiliating snub on their party leadership today, refusing to endorse a plan to part-privatise the Royal Mail. Party modernisers, led by the trade and industry spokesman, Norman Lamb, want a third of the Royal Mail to be sold off to employees, ahead of market liberalisation next year. But, after a heated hour-long debate, activists on the floor told the party to go back and rethink the plan, despite being warned they would "look ridiculous" for having no policy in place."
September 20, 2005 -- As Forbes has noted:
September 20, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Fresh off a landslide electoral victory, the government of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will get down to the nuts-and-bolts of privatizing the postal service in a special session of Parliament that opens on Wednesday. The ruling coalition led by Koizumi's Liberal Democratic Party roared to triumph in Sept. 11 elections for the lower house, clinching a hefty two-thirds majority in the chamber and a decisive mandate for postal reform. The government will get a crack at following through on its campaign promises when Parliament opens on Wednesday, beginning a process expected to lead to a vote on the postal legislation in mid-October." And postal reform in the United States? Welllll...let's just not talk about it.
September 20, 2005 -- According to the Irish Independent, "THE proposed global merger of package delivery and logistics groups Deutsche Post, the owner of DHL, and British-based Exel is thought likely to result in some shakeout of Irish jobs."
September 20, 2005 -- According to the Lexington Institute's Charles Guy, "Both Congressional plans to reform the U.S. Postal Service prescribe the wrong medicine for the ailing USPS. That's because lawmakers have misdiagnosed the problem, attributing the Postal Service's financial woes to a fall-off in the volume of mail. As it so happens, the Postal Service is afflicted with several serious problems, but none of these are new or a consequence of declining mail volume."
September 20, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
September 20, 2005 -- The Guardian has reported that "The head of Germany's Deutsche Post yesterday defended his decision to launch a pounds 3.7bn agreed bid for Britain's Exel in a deal that will mark a further round of consolidation in the global logistics business."
September 19, 2005 -- Three weeks to the day that Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, UPS has resumed service to parts of New Orleans' Central Business District and sections of the French Quarter. Outside New Orleans, UPS now has reopened 21 of its 22 affected buildings in the region and restored delivery service to every ZIP code in Mississippi and Alabama. The company also has resumed daily air flights into and out of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Traffic World also noted that "DHL opened Express stations Monday in Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans and at the George R. Carr Airport in Covington, La. The company said it will be able to serve customers along the Gulf Coast with the exception of those areas completely inaccessible due to damage and flooding from Hurricane Katrina.
September 19, 2005 -- As the Financial Times put it, "Royal Mail will regain its monopoly on delivering household post following a decision by Express Dairies to pull out of the postal delivery business."
September 19, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics company TNT N.V. Monday said its chief financial officer, Jan Haars, was leaving over "differences in management style," and that his successor would likely come from outside the company. TNT - the principal mail provider in the Netherlands through TNT Post, and the world's second largest logistics provider after Exel PLC of the U.K. - said Haars would receive severance payment of EUR1 million before taxes, and a EUR360,210 pension scheme contribution."
September 19, 2005 -- Yokwe Online has noted that "International rate schedules will be used for mail destined to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. The proposed rule was posted in the United States Federal Register on September 15. As provided in the agreement within the Compact of Free Association negotiated between the US and the two former Trust Territories, international rates will be phased in over a period of not less than five years, beginning no sooner than 2006. As a first step, for international services with domestic equivalents, rates will be phased in using the difference between the domestic rates and the international rates."
September 19, 2005 -- MarketWatch has reported that "Siemens AG (SI) unveiled more reorganization of its sprawling empire Monday, saying it will shed 2,400 jobs at its information technology services unit and break up the logistics and assembly business. The postal automation and airport logistics units will be allocated to the industrial solutions and services division, while the electronic assembly systems business, which produces pick-and-place machines for the electronics industry, will become part of automation and drives. The loss-making distribution and industry unit and its associated products and customer service, will be spun off into a separate entity - Dematic GmbH."
September 19, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "German postal and logistics company Deutsche Post AG said Monday it will take over the British-based Exel PLC for 5.5 billion euros ($6.7 billion). The deal, which still has to be approved by Exel shareholders, is the largest international acquisition for Deutsche Post and is expected to create the world's largest logistics business with a combined work force of around 500,000 people."
September 19, 2005 -- According to DM News, "Results from Fingerhut's first test using repositionable notes more than offset the cost of using the program, the company said last week. RPNs are popular because they can go from the outside of a mail piece to a customer's telephone, computer monitor, refrigerator or calendar, extending the lifespan of a direct marketer's message, the USPS said. RPNs are allowed on all letter- and flat-sized mail sent at discount First-Class, Standard and Periodicals rates. The added rate for RPN-bearing mail is 0.5 cents for First-Class pieces and 1.5 cents for Standard and Periodicals pieces. The postal service said 593 customers have sent nearly 27 million pieces of mail with RPNs since April, when the product became available for a fee, including Standard mail (410,614 flats and 23.26 million letters) and First-Class mail (3,778 flats and 3.3 million letters). Some direct mailers opposed the test of the added rate, arguing that it doesn't cost the USPS extra to process."
September 19, 2005 -- Direct has reported that "Some conservative direct marketers are crying foul over an appeals-court decision that bulk mailings by non-profit United Seniors Association Inc. probably misled senior citizens into thinking they were receiving official correspondence from the Social Security Administration. The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia on Aug. 25 upheld a decision by a Social Security administrative law judge that envelopes mailed by the United Seniors Association used phrases such as "Social Security Alert" and "Social Security Information Enclosed" in violation of the Social Security Act. The court also upheld a $554,196 fine against USA Next, as the conservative lobbying group is also known."
September 19, 2005 -- The Deccan Herald has reported that "Inaugurating the 15th joint session of the All India Postal Employees Union (AIPEU)-Group C, AIPEU-Postmen, Group D and GDS Employees Association, in the City on Sunday, he said an in-depth study of the fall-outs of the privatisation of the Postal Department should be carried out to help the government understand the repercussions of the proposed move. The employees of the Postal Department were beset with too many problems when compared to the employees of other departments of the government. The reduction in the number of posts had increased the burden on the existing work-force. The anti-labour policies being pursued by the government was the root cause for all these problems, he blamed."
September 18, 2005 -- According to Direct postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "Today, most mail is processed via automation. Consequently, there is more to "complete" addressing than just the human-readable part. Automatable mail requires a perfectly accurate barcode presented to a machine reader in precisely the place it expects it. As the U.S. Postal Service continues to improve its mail automation technology, it will expect mailers to understand the need for placing this vital barcode and addressing information in a place and position on the mail piece that is designed to facilitate machine-readability and processing."
September 18, 2005 -- NewIndPress has reported that "R.Ganesan, Secretary, Union Department of Posts, has said that the department is on the threshold of a major restructuring. Launching the Postal Department's ‘Direct Post' at a function here on Saturday, Ganesan said that the revamping process was going on in the department to meet the challenges in the wake of the technological changes. Ganesan said as part of it, the department had already computerised 3,000 post offices across the country. By the end of the 10th Plan period, Ganesan said that the number of computer-linked post offices would go up to 10,000. With the linking of post offices, the department would diversify its activities with an eye on the expansion of its customer base."
September 18, 2005 -- The Alaska Journal of Commerce has reported that "While the U.S. Postal Service is trying to convince Barrow residents that cost cutting measures that will change the bypass mail system on the North Slope is necessary and warranted, Fairbanks business leaders are calculating the negative impacts to their community. "This proposal will have a significant negative impact financially, and to long-term relationships between Fairbanks and Barrow and the surrounding villages," said Jim Whittaker, mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough. A meeting scheduled for Sept. 22 in Fairbanks is sure to be a showdown between the North and the South as Barrow and Fairbanks join with mainline bypass mail air carriers in a show of unity against the postal service's cost-cutting measures."
September 18, 2005 -- According to the Globe and Mail, "Their pay is low, there are few benefits and their workplace is full of diesel dust, black ice and flying cabs. But sign on to a union? Toronto's bicycle couriers aren't really the joining kind. CUPW organizers see bicycle couriers as a natural fit for their union, since their role parallels that of postal workers. CUPW's drive to organize Toronto couriers is part of a Canada-wide campaign that would swell the union's ranks and increase its power over the delivery industry."
September 18, 2005 -- The Observer has reported that "Attempts to open the postal market to competition have suffered a setback with the withdrawal of the Royal Mail's only competitor in delivering to front doors around the country. Express Dairies, which has been delivering post from 100 depots via 1,400 of its milkmen to households across the UK for two years, is to stop its mail operation next month. The news has caused disappointment at industry regulator Postcomm, which is preparing to introduce full competition into the postal market from January."
September 18, 2005 -- The Scotsman has noted that "POSTAL services in Britain will open up to competition on January 1 though, of course, there will be no post that day. Nor is it likely that anybody will notice much difference, at least not for some time. "The juicy parts of the market are already open to competition so we don't see much change, not right away," says Sarah Chambers, chief executive of Postcomm, the regulator. Chambers and her chairman, Nigel Stapleton - who were in Scotland last week to meet customers of Royal Mail - believe Crozier is getting over-excited about the threats, pointing out that Royal Mail controls 99% of the £6bn letters market and has a position in the industry that is hardly likely to be usurped, whatever the competition. Its universal reach, scale and brand give it a massive advantage so that deregulation is likely to be as big a challenge for those trying to compete as it is to the Royal Mail itself."
September 17, 2005 -- Expansion has reported that "In Spain, the Spanish competition authority, the SDC, has closed the case on postal services provider Correos for abusing its market power, following Correos' commitment to refrain from manipulating the market by charging below-cost prices to major clients. The original proceedings against Correos were opened in 2002, when the Spanish postal employers' association, Asempre, accused Correos of entering into contracts with major clients, such as Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Spain's second-largest bank, and Catalan savings bank La Caixa, containing heavy discounts resulting from cross-subsidisation."
September 17, 2005 -- According to the Financial Times, "Deutsche Post, Europe's biggest postal service, is expected to announce on Monday an agreed takeover of Exel that would value the UK logistics company at about £3.6bn. The deal would create the world's biggest logistics group."
September 17, 2005 -- The Los Angeles Daily Breeze has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service has placed its prime 20-acre Marina Processing and Distribution Center near Playa Vista on the market, despite pleas from a collection of elected officials and residents trying to transform the land into public open space."
September 17, 2005 -- KUAM-TV has reported that "After meeting with Guam's U.S. Postmaster and Continental Micronesia on Thursday, Governor Felix Camacho sent a letter to assistant secretary of homeland security for the Transportation Security Administration Edmund Hawley, explaining the major disruption of commerce has caused a backlog of mail on Guam. The backlog is due to the federal TSA not renewing exemptions to Continental Airlines, which enables the U.S. Postal Service to deliver and receive mail parcels more than 16 ounces. The Governor wrote that Guam's geographic isolation from the mainland U.S. makes it more necessary for TSA to resolve the issue quickly."
September 17, 2005 -- The Fairbanks News-Miner has reported that "A federal transportation official said Friday that he doesn't know whether the U.S. Postal Service's statewide costs will increase if it starts trucking Barrow-bound mail to Prudhoe Bay instead of flying it out Fairbanks and Anchorage."
September 17, 2005 -- The Henderson Daily Dispatch has reported that "The United States Postal Service will deliver mail through rain, sleet and snow. But potentially hazardous roads are another issue. The residents of the Williamsboro mobile home community Key Estates were informed around late July that mail would no longer be delivered in their neighborhood after a mail carrier, Lennie Lee Swanson Jr., was involved in a minor car accident with Roy Faulkner, a Key Estates resident. The roads in Key Estates - all of which are private - are unpaved, poorly maintained, littered with potholes and in some places not wide enough for two cars."
September 17, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
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September 17, 2005 -- In his latest postal perspective, Murray Comarow, a senior fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and former executive director of the Kappel Commission, noted that "On September 24, 2004, the governors unanimously informed Senator Susan M. Collins and Representative Tom Davis, who chair the relevant committees, that they were troubled by H.R. 22 and S. 662 in specific respects. The Board's letter does not cover all it should, nor was it timely issued. It is welcome, however, for what it does cover, and for a signal that the Postal Service's passivity in legislative matters may be over."
September 17, 2005 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
September 17, 2005 -- Posted on this site is a USPS update on "DADC Periodicals Drops for ADC New Orleans LA 700."
September 17, 2005 -- Pacific Daily News has reported that "Guam's postal problems have yet to be resolved, but there was an extra cargo flight to Honolulu yesterday to take thousands of pounds of backlogged packages closer to their destinations. According to the office of congressional Delegate Madeleine Bordallo, the Transportation Security Administration is expediting plans to expand security procedures at the airport, which could help resolve the problem."
September 17, 2005 -- According to the Western Catholic Reporter, "The Western Catholic Reporter faces a huge increase in mailing costs due to a federal government decision to cut postal subsidies for publications across Canada."
September 16, 2005 -- The National Association of Letter Carriers has told its members that "Two major stumbling blocks have emerged that could slow the NALC’s long campaign to achieve comprehensive postal reform legislation. The impact of Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst natural disasters in American history, and the U.S. Postal Service’s Board of Governors' recent announcement that it will oppose the existing postal reform bills have disturbed the legislative timetable outlined in my last message. The Senate may not be able to take up postal reform legislation in September, as originally hoped."
September 16, 2005 -- Direct has reported that "Generations X and Y are just as likely to be reached by direct mail as their baby boomer parents, USPS business specialist George McHale told members of the Chicago Association of Direct Marketers yesterday. Research commissioned by the USPS and due to be released fully later this year reveals that the members of both Gen-X (born between 1967 and 1976) and Gen-Y (born between 1978 and 1994) find the same kind of value their parents do in offers that come via their mailboxes, McHale said."
September 16, 2005 -- According to the Libertarian-Communist News Wire, "In spite of Labour's manifesto commitments the government plans to privatise the Post Office. The idea being floated amounts to little more than a sugar-coated management buy-out under which Post Office Chairman, Allen Leighton, and his fellow executives will borrow the money to buy 51% of the Post Office from the government and then hand out a few token shares to each worker."
September 16, 2005 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users (NAMMU) has reported that "Canada Post is progressively implementing procedures with the objective of facilitating induction and ensuring prompt payment when customers present mail at facilities accepting commercial mail. This week NAMMU members began advising receipt of a letter concerning an automatic credit authorization that will take place as of September 19th, when orders are created through the Electronic Shipping Tools (EST). The notification, dated September 9th, stressed that credit authorization will be applied against the payer’s account and not the shipper’s account, in the case of a Value Add Mailer (VAM). Customer accounts that do not meet Canada Post’s credit limits and other requirements, will now have limited methods of payment upon creation of an electronic Order. Credit authorization will continue to be performed at induction facilities on all manual Orders. For further information, contact the NAMMU Media Group.
September 16, 2005 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German national postal services provider, has suffered another legal defeat in its dispute over the use of the word 'Post' by rivals, such as Regiopost. The former monopolist said that the vast majority of people in Germany associated the term 'Post' with Deutsche Post and that other companies' use of this term could lead to confusion. The regional court in Frankenthal yesterday rejected Deutsche Telekom's complaint against Regiopost."
September 16, 2005 -- According to AdWeek, "Checks, Not Catalogs, Are in the Mail. USPS hands out Social Security checks in Gulfport Miss. With postal and parcel services limited or suspended in the hardest-hit areas of the Gulf Coast direct marketers are withholding shipments to ZIP codes in parts of Louisiana Mississippi and Alabama industry executives said."
September 16, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Azure Dynamics Corporation ("Azure Dynamics" or the "Company") a leading developer of hybrid electric and electric powertrains for commercial and military vehicles is pleased to announce that Purolator Courier Ltd. ("Purolator"), Canada's largest courier company, has executed an order to purchase 115 new hybrid electric vehicles."
September 15, 2005 -- Reuters has reported that "The lawmaker who triggered a political crisis over bribes and illegal funding has been thrown out of the Brazilian Congress, the first expulsion over a scandal that has plunged the government of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva into turmoil. Roberto Jefferson of the Brazilian Labor Party was expelled after a heated session that lasted late into Wednesday night. Jefferson was expelled on the grounds that his party, a member of the ruling coalition, took illegal funds from the Workers' Party. He launched his accusations while he was under investigation for running a bribery scheme at the national postal service and critics say he was seeking revenge because of the government's lack of support."
September 15, 2005 -- The Cheshire Herald (Connecticut) has reported that "After a long and exhausting search to find a location for the new post office, the project will be further delayed. For more than 20 years, residents and businesses have been waiting patiently for a new post office. The present location on Maple Avenue is crowded and far too small for Cheshire’s growing population. Back in 1997, a piece of property located across from Highland School was chosen as a new location. That location fell through when the U.S. Postal Service put a hold on all projects because of financial constraints. According to USPS spokesman Gerry McKiernan, “This is no delay, it’s a slight pause."
September 15, 2005 -- Learning life skills at Howard University....The Hilltop has reported that "Transferring mail at Howard is the biggest delay in the University mail system, with students complaining of late, or even lost, mail after switching dorms. "If you switch your address your mail gets lost, and you never see it," said Adrienne Bolden, senior biology major. Gregory Smith, sophomore mechanical engineering major, said he personally experienced a long delay in receiving a package. "The change of address system is slow," said Gregory Smith, sophomore mechanical engineering major. "Because a package that I was supposed to get at Meridian went to Drew Hall but other than that the system is okay." According to Mark Coleman, of the post office in the A-building, it is the responsibility of the dorm to get the information of who is leaving, but in the same respect, it is the students' responsibility to let the dorm know what their new address is going to be, in order to ensure a smooth transition. According to Dean Charles Gibbs of Residence Life, the delays in transfers are because, whenever it comes to change of address, initially, the mail goes to the student's old address and then to the new one."
September 15, 2005 -- According to the Pacific Daily News, "The U.S. Postal Service is assuring people (in Guam) who have sent packages in recent weeks that their packages will arrive at their destination, with only a few days' delay. Also, the delay is in no way affecting incoming packages, nor is it affecting First Class Mail, Express Mail, Registered Mail or perishable items. The backlogged situation applies only to lower classes of mail, postal officials clarified. And the mail service is working with Continental Airlines and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration on finding a solution to the delay problem. All parties said they expect at least a temporary solution within days."
September 15, 2005 -- The Washington Post has reported that "The board of governors at the U.S. Postal Service muddled the outlook for a post office overhaul yesterday, saying House and Senate bills would give postal regulators too much power over the agency's internal operations. "Regrettably, despite the intentions of all parties, it is our considered opinion that the bills provide neither the requisite flexibility nor the authority to accomplish our mission," the board said in a letter to members of Congress who oversee postal issues. Postal analysts said the letter threw cold water over a decade of legislative effort to make the Postal Service more competitive and help it offset the loss of first-class mail revenue because of the growing use of e-mail."
September 15, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "I.D. Systems, Inc., a provider of RFID-based wireless asset tracking and management solutions, today announced that it has received new orders from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to deploy the company's Wireless Asset Net(TM) powered industrial vehicle management system at five additional USPS facilities. The new orders follow initial system deployments at eight USPS facilities earlier this year, including one facility that performed a successful extensive field evaluation of system performance. Under the terms of the USPS' three-year national contract with I.D. Systems, up to 460 USPS facilities can order the Wireless Asset Net system."
September 15, 2005 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "Over the past 15 years, Klaus Zumwinkel has defied skeptics by transforming Germany's federal post office from a top-heavy bureaucracy into one of the country's most profitable blue-chip companies. With just two years to retirement, Mr. Zumwinkel, the chief executive, is poised to reinvent Deutsche Post AG again with a mammoth acquisition that would make the company the world's largest logistics provider in revenue terms and give it a crucial edge against rivals such as United Parcel Service Inc. in important global markets."
September 15, 2005 -- The Daily News (Sri Lanka) has reported that "Posts, Telecommunications and Udarata Development Minister D.M. Jayaratne declared open the fully fledged Postal Headquarters at 310,D.R.Wijewardene Mawatha,Colombo 10, on Monday,September 12. The Postal Headquarters built at a cost of Rs.351 million replaces the postal department that had been operating General Post Office (GPO) at President Mawatha, Colombo from 1985."
September 15, 2005 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "The Vietnam's largest telecom company - Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (VNPT) - has entered the lucrative insurance market following partnership signed on September 13 with France's Prevoir Vietnam Life Insurance company. Under the deal between the two companies, the State-owned VNPT will exclusively distribute life insurance products developed by Prevoir Vietnam via its network of post offices across the country for the next 10 years."
September 15, 2005 -- SwissInfo has reported that "The Swiss cabinet has decided to partially liberalise the country's letter delivery service from April 2006. It is the latest step towards privatising the state–owned company and opening the postal market to other licensed competitors."
September 15, 2005 -- The Scotsman has reported that "NIGEL Stapleton, chairman of Postcomm, the post office regulator, said his organisation's main mission is not to be an "albatross" round the neck of Royal Mail - it is to protect the customer. And the best way to achieve that is through customer choice and competition. But Postcomm's price control reins on Royal Mail will also remain - something Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier claims is unfair. Last week he told The Scotsman: "What is the biggest threat to this business? It's not the competition. It's the regulator."
September 15, 2005 -- The Tide Online has reported that "NIPOST will on October 10, join other postal agencies worldwide to mark the World Post Day. The Pan African Postal Union (PAPU) would be celebrated next year on a wider scale on January 18, with the launching of new stamps, among other activities. The Post Master General (PMG) Alhaji Musa Argungu, who is the chairman of the finance committee of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), would be celebrating with the world body in Switzerland."
September 15, 2005 -- Union Network International has noted that "Japanese postal unions face a new battle as the re-elected Japanese government sets postal privatisation as one of its top priorities."
September 15, 2005 -- From the Federal Register:
The Postal Service, under its authority in Title 39 U.S.C. 407, is proposing changes to international mail postage rates and fees. The total international rate increase is 5.9 percent. To the extent possible, the targeted increase is 5.4 percent across-the-board, consistent with domestic rate filing with the Postal Rate Commission. International pricing will change at the same time as the domestic pricing change.
Under an agreement negotiated by the United States government with the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia, mail destined to those two countries will now use the international rate schedules. This proposal would amend the International Mail Manual (IMM) to include the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia in all international products and services and add them to the individual country listings.
September 15, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "As post offices across southeastern Louisiana continue to reopen, the Postal Service is asking all postal employees in the area to report back to work at their regular postal facility, if they are able to do so. A total of 98 post offices have reopened within eight parishes in ZIP Code areas 700, 703 and 704 since Hurricane Katrina disrupted operations. All service to ZIP Code area 701 remains suspended until further notice, and customers displaced by Hurricane Katrina are encouraged to file a change of address order to ensure their mail follows them to their new location. A total of 98 post offices have reopened within eight parishes in ZIP Code areas 700, 703 and 704 since Hurricane Katrina disrupted operations. All service to ZIP Code area 701 remains suspended until further notice, and customers displaced by Hurricane Katrina are encouraged to file a change of address order to ensure their mail follows them to their new location."
September 14, 2005 -- According to Hoovers, "UPS Inc. is still working to restore telecommunications at several shipping and receiving facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi more than two weeks after Hurricane Katrina. UPS's meteorological team had been tracking Katrina since before it hit land and was able to plan shutdowns at its package-sorting facilities in the storm's path. Still, primary data networks failed at 53 sites across Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Thirty-one of those locations also lost their backup networks. Data that UPS employees and customers use to track package status and deliveries depend on those networks."
September 14, 2005 -- The Pacific Daily News (Guam) has reported that "If you need to send a package to Hawaii or the U.S. mainland and you need it to get there within the next couple of weeks, don't use the U.S. Postal Service. Thousands of outgoing parcels have been delayed on Guam because of an "unexpected decision" made by the Transportation Security Agency, according a U.S. Postal Service release. "The end result of this decision has been to create a tremendous inconvenience to the more than 200,000 U.S. citizens who reside in Guam, Saipan, Rota and Tinian, including military personnel and their dependents stationed in those areas," the release stated."
September 14, 2005 -- The Financial Express has reported that "The department of posts is contemplating a special purpose vehicle (SPV) on the lines of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the proposed Railway Land Development Authority to mobilise non-tariff revenue by commercially exploiting its surplus land."
September 14, 2005 -- In his closed televised address to postal customer councils nationwide, Postmaster General Jack Potter thanked customers and postal employees for all they've done in response to Hurricane Katrina. He said the Postal Service will turn in another year of increased postal productivity, will end the current fiscal year in the black, will experience an excellent first quarter in its 2006 fiscal year, but still needs its requested 5.4% postal rate increase to make the $3.1 billion escrow payment required by P.L. 108-18. He said further that the USPS' next five-year strategic transformation plan will be released on September 30. While it will contain no new revolutionary ideas, it will be focused on improved cost efficiency, in part gained from the use of a four-state barcode on all mail and a new flats sequence sorting program. He said he was committed to reducing USPS costs by another $5 billion over the next five years. He also said the USPS wanted to expand its use of NSAs as a way to build future, profitable business.
September 14, 2005 -- The Congressional Research Service has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service has experienced many disasters in the past, and it was relatively well prepared for the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. While the hurricane damaged some 500 post offices, the Postal Service was able to establish limited services just days after the disaster. For those now displaced from their homes, USPS says that it can provide relatively efficient delivery service if customers submit a change of address form in person, by toll-free telephone, or on the Internet. USPS has no current plans to request congressional appropriations for the costs it has incurred in restoring operations."
September 14, 2005 -- From Business Wire: "DHL, the world's leading express delivery and logistics company, today announced the appointment of John Cameron to Executive Vice President of Ground for DHL Express. With nearly 20 years of experience in the U.S. shipping and logistics industry, Mr. Cameron will play a key role in continuing to enhance DHL ground services and operations, strengthening DHL's presence in target markets, and developing new and innovative products for the ground sector."
September 14, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service has announced that:
September 14, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Every additional flight from overseas that arrives at Little Rock Air Force Base with aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina raises the interest of those who will unload the airplane and send its cargo on its way, says Chris Weeks, international disaster coordinator for the shipping company DHL....DHL is working with other cargo companies to transport the supplies from Little Rock to the Gulf Coast and shelters throughout the region. Weeks, who is based in Brussels, Belgium, came to Little Rock to be part of the international response."
September 14, 2005 -- In a letter sent to House and Senate congressional postal overseers, the Board of Governors of U.S. Postal Service discussed the concerns it had regarding postal reform legislation pending before Congress. It said:
"Our primary concern is the issue of governance -- that is, the role of the regulator versus that of the Board of Governors. We believe the appropriate focus of the regulator should be oversight of Postal rates (to make sure they are not too high, too low, or discriminatory). The Board's role should be to oversee the business of the Postal Service.
"While the legislation was intended to avoid extended rate litigation, both bills create a process that would permit the regulator to hear complaints at any time and on virtually any aspect of postal operations. The Postal Service would be required to take action as directed by the regulator as a result of those complaints. We are concerned that this would have the practical effect of undermining the authority of the Board and, at the same time, create the potential for constant litigation over rates and other issues. We believe that clarity in the roles of the two bodies would assure accountability and success. In the interests of efficiency and a clear separation of roles, the complaint process should be consistent with current law and be limited to rates and service issues. This would reduce regulation and red tape, and support our shared interest in providing efficient Postal services for the American people....
"The Board's responsibilities include operational and financial performance. To exercise that responsibility, the Board must have authority over capital investments, purchasing, accounting, cost attribution, compensation, and the setting of goals....
"There are significant public policy issues implicit in any changes in the definition of universal service, including any potential changes in the frequency of delivery. For this reason, consistent with current law, we believe that the Board, in conjunction with Congress as the elected representatives of the people, should have the final authority regarding service standards....
"There is broad understanding that the continued efficiencies will require the Postal Service to streamline its network and facility infrastructure. As we adjust our networks, there will inevitably be minor adjustments to service standards. Our analysis of the bills suggests that the regulator would have great latitude in overseeing service standards and, potentially, intervene in decisions regarding the network. This additional layer of decision making could slow down or delay needed network innovation. The Board should retain the authority to manage these areas....
"[I]t is also our belief that the Postal Service should initiate a final, omnibus rate case under the current rules of the Postal Rate Commission, with metrics similar to the case now pending. If the Postal Service is unable to recover certain increases in costs experienced since the last omnibus case, it would be at a significant deficit when moving into a price-cap regime.
"We believe that the Postal Service should have the authority to enter into negotiated service agreements, with an after-the-fact review by the regulator. This would provide the Postal Service with the ability to expeditiously to assist its customers, while supporting our efforts to increase volume and revenue. We also believe that the reform legislation should contain provisions that specifically authorize the Postal Service to offer volume discounts in the competitive products area. While we believe that the Postal Service already has this authority, the inclusion of specific authorization would ensure regulator approval and avoid protracted litigation....
"If budget neutrality, along with the current deficiencies in governing flexibility, were the outcome, we have serious reservations about the continued ability of the Postal Service to maintain the level of universal service at reasonable rates currently enjoyed by the American public."
September 14, 2005 -- According to ElectricNews, "Moving house has become easier with the launch of a new service that allows relocating individuals and families to update their address details online. NewAddress.ie is a free service which allows people to notify their bank, phone company, utility companies, loyalty card providers and government bodies of the fact that they have moved house. People availing of the service need to provide their original address and their new address. They then list the companies that they wish to inform and provide the date of their move. NewAddress.ie sends an SMS message the day before the move to confirm that the moving date is still accurate.
September 14, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
The Austrian news agency APA reports that Osterreichische Post AG intends to invest around 500m euros in its expansion programme over the next two years. In addition to entering into the logistics industry, the post also plans to extend existing operations.
The floatation of Osterreichische Post AG remains a topic of public discussion. The opposition party SPO accused the government of trying to sell "this strategically important infrastructure enterprise" to international funds as cheaply as possible, thus causing harm to taxpayers.
Leading German publishing houses are setting up a joint venture to compete with Deutsche Post. Gunter Thiel has been appointed to set up and manage the new company. Mr Thiel's Luxembourg company Rosalia will be part of the new set-up. Each partner has a 25% participation in the joint venture. Mr Thiel, formerly chairman of Thiel Logistik AG and later CEO of TNT Logistics Central & Eastern Europe, has ambitious goals.
The expected postal reform increases the chances of TNT buying into Japan Post.
Poste Italiane could possibly show a better result than expected this year. In an interview with the daily "II Sole 24 Ore", CEO Massimo Sarmi said the half-year result - to be published on 3 October - showed a strong growth trend.
Federation Nationale du Credit Agricole, which holds around 55% of the shares of the bank Credit Agricole SA, has again demanded that the EU Commission carry out an investigation of France's La Poste. The bank is concerned about the post's plans to intensify its banking business.
The parcel shop chain Paketeria in Berlin intends to set up a nationwide network of branches in the next two years. Around 1,000 parcel shops will have opened throughout Germany when the post's monopoly is dropped in 2007. "We want to challenge the post", said managing director Misch in Berlin.
Last week FedEx Express opened up a daily direct connection from Delhi in India via Shanghai to Tokyo. The new connection enables the integrator to offer a 24-hour transmission time on the route.
The German logistics group Hermes plans to get into the European parcel market this autumn.
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.
September 13, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "The Austrian government has agreed on amending the country's postal law, which is necessary for the planned privatization of the state postal service, Oesterreichische Post AG, reported Austrian news agency APA. The change in the postal law is needed to improve the postal service's competitiveness in a liberalized market. It is the first step toward privatization and a possible public offering, which is planned for spring 2006."
September 13, 2005 -- The Department of Defense has warned that "High-tech mail scanners find items being shipped home accidentally, and sometimes illegally."
September 13, 2005 -- The East African has reported that "Courier giant DHL Worldwide has established a new division that will cater for cargo. DHL Danzas Air and Ocean will operate in Equatorial Africa with Kenya as its regional base. The freight services will operate separately from DHL Express, the courier wing of the company."
September 13, 2005 -- According to The Guardian, "The government was told tonight to scrap its plans to end the Royal Mail's monopoly on delivering letters next year, as the unions joined forces to oppose greater competition in the postal sector. Labour promised in its election manifesto to keep the post office in the public sector, but since then the trade and industry secretary, Alan Johnson, has floated the idea of a sell-off to workers, on the model of the retail company John Lewis, whose permanent staff are all partners in the business. The battle with the government over the postal service is all the more resonant because the cabinet minister responsible, Mr Johnson, was himself a postman for 18 years, as well as being a former general secretary of the CWU."
September 13, 2005 -- According to the Nikkei news service, "Japan Post's privatized successors will be subject to the consumption tax for intragroup transactions just like other financial institutions under the postal privatization bills to be submitted to the special Diet session convening next week. Under the plan, Japan Post will be divided into a holding company and four business units handling the post office network, mail operations, postal savings and postal insurance in October 2007. The postal savings and postal insurance units will be fully privatized by 2017, but the holding company will be allowed to buy back their shares later on."
September 13, 2005 -- As the Financial Times has noted, "Junichiro Koizumi, Japan's prime minister, yesterday sought to press home his advantage after a massive election victory on Sunday, saying he wanted topush postal privatisation through parliament within two weeks."
September 13, 2005 -- Revolution magazine has reported that "Royal Mail is backing its new above-the-line campaign targeting businesses with a digital branding push. Breaking in late September, digital activity will promote the firm's business-mail services. Creative will complement work by its above-the-line agency, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. It comes as Royal Mail gears up for deregulation of the UK postal market, which will come into effect in April 2006."
September 13, 2005 -- The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest members:
September 13, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "All of the nation's 216 Postal Customer Councils (PCC) are participating in this year's National PCC Day, set for Sept. 14. This annual event showcases the work of the PCCs and includes a series of awards recognizing outstanding service and individual achievement. In addition, Postmaster General John E. Potter will deliver a coast-to-coast satellite broadcast on the future of the United States Postal Service and the value of mail to small businesses across America. The broadcast, which also will feature Anita Bizzotto, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, will air at noon EST from the Lakeland Mailing Expo in Middletown, WI. The Expo is a day-long event sponsored by the Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Central Wisconsin and Fox Valley PCCs."
September 13, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Royal Mail has named Monday August 21 2006 as the day its Pricing in Proportion scheme will come into force."
September 13, 2005 -- According to Shippers Newswire, "FedEx Express has placed an order for six A300-600 freighter aircraft from Airbus for an undisclosed amount. All six of the planes are scheduled for delivery in 2007. FedEx's current fleet includes 47 A300-600 freighters and 54 A310 freighters. FedEx has also ordered 10 super-jumbo A380 aircraft, each able to carry 152 tons of cargo."
September 13, 2005 -- SmartMoney has noted that "Craigslist, founded in 1999 by Craig Newmark, operates in 113 cities in the U.S. and 34 countries and attracts more than 10 million viewers a month. It runs as an online community forum, rather than a traditional ad-driven business, and that sets it apart: It charges only for job ads in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Everything else — real-estate ads, merchandise ads, personals, and on and on — is free. The site's popularity grows every day. And as its volume of ads increases, Craigslist becomes even more of a liquidity center — the eBay (EBAY) of local classifieds. The trouble for newspapers is clear. Classified ads account for about 40% of the average U.S. newspaper's advertising revenue, according to Mort Goldstrom, vice president of advertising for the Newspaper Association of America. Craigslist is their kryptonite. It competes with newspapers essentially by not competing. Why would customers pay if they don't have to?" Well...looks as if newspapers no longer can blame direct mail.
September 13, 2005 -- A solid waste landfill shortage in the U.S.? Balderdash! Be sure to read the latest from the Mail & Jobs Coalition on that one. Before anyone decides to propose limitations on businesses' ability to use mail to market and grow their businesses and the economy, they should make sure they have their facts straight.
September 13, 2005 -- DM News has reported that:
September 13, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Magazine publishers are being warned about 'soaring' marketing opt-out rates among their actual and potential subscribers by marketing and data protection consultancy Opt-4. Opt-4's co-founder Jenny Moseley said that publishers face a battle to obtain marketing rights from their readers."
September 13, 2005 -- Reuters has reported that "Media reports said Economics Minister Heizo Takenaka, who is in charge of postal privatisation, told Koizumi in a meeting that the reforms would start on Oct. 1, 2007, half a year later than originally planned. Officials had said previously that the reforms could not begin when originally intended due to delays caused by the defeat of the bills and the need to re-submit them. The original bills contained a clause saying that if delays developed in setting up things such as information systems, the actual start of the reforms could be pushed back by six months. Takenaka suggested at a news conference on Tuesday he was concerned if the systems would be ready in time but that the election results were a clear mandate to carry out the reforms. "I would like to accelerate reform efforts to respond to the will of the people," he added." See also Japan Today.
September 13, 2005 -- According to the Daily Yomiuri, "Shaken by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's reform policy and the Liberal Democratic Party's landslide victory Sunday, concerns over the future political landscape have resurfaced among members of Taiju, an association of retired postmasters of government-commissioned post offices and their families.
September 13, 2005 -- The Business Standard has reported that "Department of Posts is planning to launch warehousing and order processing services for the industry. The warehousing would follow the postal department's recent initiative on logistic services. The department has launched logistic service under the brand name of Logistic Post in seven states."
September 13, 2005 -- From PR Newswire: "For many people affected by hurricane Katrina, life is beginning to get back to normal as mail services resume in much of the area. In communities where delivery is not yet possible, customers can pick-up mail in post offices or at temporary postal vans. This means that many items delivered through the mail, such as assistance payments and medications, got through to those that needed them. For many evacuees, help is on the way as USPS continued to process and deliver recovery assistance checks and route mail to new addresses of those who have filled out Change of Address forms. Check out the latest news about the Postal Service's recovery efforts in the hurricane Katrina affected areas at http://www.usps.com."
September 12, 2005 -- As Mail & Jobs Executive Director Peter Miller has noted, "For years we have heard about the declining number of landfills. Critics of advertising mail have claimed that the use of ad mail should be curtailed because of landfill issues. In turn, PostCom has pointed out that landfill capacity -- not the number of landfills -- is the central measure to consider. Now it turns out that America not only doesn't have a landfill shortage -- research from the Mail & Jobs Coalition shows we have a landfill glut and decades of capacity."
September 12, 2005 -- PostInsight has reported that:
At the invitation of Poste Italiane, experts from the postal operators of Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy and Switzerland and Pitney Bowes met on August 29-30 in Rome to discuss the interim results of a mail demand model developed by Matt Harding from MIT.
The Eighth Pitney Bowes Leadership Roundtable, “Stimulating Mail Volume in the New Environment” concluded at the Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida. Participants included Patrick Donahoe, USPS Deputy Postmaster General, Murray Martin, Pitney Bowes President and Chief Operating Officer and other executives from a total of 15 postal organizations including: Austria, Belgium, Jersey, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Portugal, Estonia , Germany, Russia , Chile, UK, U.S., Italy, IPC. Also in attendance were industry experts from postal organizations (PostCom, IPC, BvDP), private sector companies (Wunderman, Draft Worldwide) and consultancies. They joined Pitney Bowes executives from the U.S. and Europe, who hosted the event.
September 12, 2005 -- According to Federal Computer Week, "Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) is a candidate to head the National Federation of Independent Business, a lobbying group, according to insiders. Davis' spokesman Dave Marin denied the assertion. "Davis is staying put" and will seek re-election, Marin wrote in an e-mail. Sources in industry and on Capitol Hill, however, say that Davis is indeed up for the job. Davis is an influential member of the House leadership and is chairman of the House Government Reform Committee."
September 12, 2005 -- According to the Asahi Shimbun, "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Monday set in motion his second attempt to gain Diet passage of his postal privatization plan-an issue that propelled his party to a sweeping victory in the Lower House election."
September 12, 2005 -- The Sunday Herald has reported that:
The chief executive of Royal Mail claims UK utilities have been left as ‘sitting ducks’ for overseas predators because of the narrow and insular focus of UK regulators.
THE wave of privatisation of utilities during the Thatcher years was meant to give a shot in the arm to British industry and create a new range of dynamic businesses. But instead the way such companies are now regulated has led to a collection of half-shackled, half-free beasts that leaves many at the mercy of European competitors. Or so runs the argument from Adam Crozier, the Scots-born chief executive of the Royal Mail. And if changes are not made, he believes, there is a real risk the UK will be left without any postal services to speak of within a decade. Such arguments need to be addressed and soon.
September 12, 2005 -- Harte-Hanks has named industry leader George S. Wiedemann as a managing director for direct marketing, located in New York. The position is new in the company, and his role will address strategic expansion of Harte-Hanks business. Wiedemann is former president and chief executive officer of Rewards Network, a loyalty company; former president and chief executive officer of Responsys, a commercial e-mail platform company; and founder, former chairman and chief executive officer of Grey Direct, a company he grew to more than $1 billion in billings and a global agency network of 38 companies.
September 12, 2005 -- According to the editor in chief of DM News, "postal reform won’t happen again this year, despite what hopeful postal observers tell us. Even though the House passed its reform bill July 26, the Senate won’t have time to pick up its legislation, what with all this finger-pointing over fallout from Katrina and two nominees to approve for the Supreme Court. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine will be too busy dealing with her hurricane headaches as head of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which also oversees the U.S. Postal Service."
September 12, 2005 -- dBusiness News has reported that "BÖWE BELL + HOWELL, a provider of document processing and postal solutions, presented a check for $25,000 to the American Red Cross on Sept. 2 to aid in disaster relief efforts following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast states. The check was presented at BÖWE BELL + HOWELL’s Durham, N.C. facility by John Lombard, president, Field Operations, to Lynn Sherrill, manager of the American Red Cross Central North Carolina Chapter."
September 12, 2005 -- From eMediaWire: "The biggest cost of all is in returned mail. Undeliverable bills, mailings, or shipments can result in substantial costs and inconvenience to you and your customers. If a company mails out 500,000 at a cost of, let's say .50 per piece, and has 10% returned due to incorrect addresses, the cost would be $25,000. This avoidable cost is due to unclean data - records in an address database that contain spelling mistakes, incorrect formatting, poor structure, or incomplete zip codes. When you consider the cost of every letter that doesn't make it to the intended recipient, it adds up."
September 12, 2005 -- The Chicago Sun-Times has noted that "An Itasca-based software developer today is launching a "hybrid mail" product -- half electronic mail/half snail mail -- designed to help American corporations lick the high cost of mailing letters."
September 12, 2005 -- As DM News has noted, "Though many direct marketers have used inserts and offered programs for years, insert media professionals now are making strides in terms of persuading the unconverted to test this inexpensive and effective medium. While postage rate increases, lack of hotline names and solo direct mail costs all benefit insert media, many practitioners would rather tout the response rates and revenue that programs generate for mailers." Check out also the excerpt DM News has published on "Permission Wave: The Permission Economy."
September 12, 2005 -- Direct has reported that "E-mail outscored catalogs as a motivation to bring shoppers to a direct marketer’s Web site in the latest wave of the quarterly online marketing survey conducted by Decision Direct Research, the online research arm of direct marketing service provider Millard Group."
September 12, 2005 -- According to Dow Jones, "Dutch postal and logistics company TNT NV (00906.AE) said Monday it sees possibilities to get a foothold in Japan following a landslide victory by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's coalition in the Lower House last week."
September 12, 2005 -- One Bloomberg columnist has presented "A To-Do List for Japan's Koizumi."
September 12, 2005 -- As Transport Intelligence has noted, "Greater competition in the European postal market has been one of the driving forces for the transformation of the global logistics industry. It was this threat that led Deutsche Post World Net to push into foreign markets and into the neighbouring express and logistics sectors. The culmination of this strategy is likely to be the acquisition of UK based contract logistics provider Exel. A formal bid is expected in the next week and a takeover would add Exel to other well known global names such as Danzas, AEI, Nedlloyd, ASG, Airborne and of course DHL which DPWN has acquired in the last ten years."
September 11, 2005 -- The Jerusalem Post has reported that "The cabinet approved on Sunday the nomination of Avi Hochman, a non-political professional who previously worked in management positions in the Postal Authority, its Postal Bank and Bezeq, as the new Postal Authority director-general. He took office immediately, replacing Yossi Shelley, who was forced out by Communications Minister Dalia Itzik."
September 11, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Japan's Liberal Democratic Party won national elections, giving Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi an extension to his four and a half year term in office and the mandate to sell the state-owned post office, the world's biggest financial institution."
September 11, 2005 -- From PR Newswire: "The U.S. Postal Service continues to reconnect Gulf Coast residents with their mail, now providing full delivery service to some 75 percent of residents and businesses affected by Hurricane Katrina. In Alabama, 100 percent of the Post Offices statewide are fully operational. In Mississippi, delivery and retail service has been restored to 87 percent of the state. In Louisiana, postal services have been restored to 30 percent of the state. Continuing efforts to reconnect displaced residents with their mail, the Postal Service is urging customers to file a change of address form, according to Azeezaly S. Jaffer, Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications. This will allow hurricane victims to receive important emergency services information, financial aid, and medicines through the mail."
September 11, 2005 -- According to the Associated Press, "Hurricane Katrina refugees staying at the D.C. Armory will finally be able to get mail. The U.S. Postal Service is setting up 50 post office boxes at the armory. They'll be set up next week. Although the number of people living at the armory continues to drop, officials are focusing on the long-term needs of those who might be staying there for weeks or months. A class in resume writing will be held at the armory Monday, and a job fair is scheduled for Tuesday. Inside, the evacuees have access to a buffet of government services: Housing , food stamps, Medicaid and other resources."
September 11, 2005 -- The Shreveport Times has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service continues to assess its damages and re-establish mail delivery services, including public affairs spokesman Dave Lewin said. Thirty-seven post offices in six affected parishes are re-opened, he said. A major goal for the postal service is to redirect mail to displaced residents. Citizens no longer able to reside in their homes are encouraged to submit a change-of-address request at a local post office, over the telephone (1-800-ASK-USPS) or on the Internet (www.usps.com). The U.S. Postal Service has about 6,000 employees in the hurricane-affected area, but the organization has heard from only about half of them, spokesman Dave Lewin said. The postal service asks employees from the storm region that have not checked in to call 1-877-477-3273."
September 11, 2005 -- According to Japan Times, "Four ruling party lawmakers who did not back Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's postal privatization bills have decided to support the legislation if the ruling coalition wins a majority in the general election, LDP lawmakers said Saturday."
September 11, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will probably retain power with a landslide win in national elections, exit polls from five media groups showed, giving him a mandate to sell state-run postal services. An exit poll by national broadcaster NHK predicts Koizumi's Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition will take as many as 361 seats in the 480-seat lower house. The coalition had won 213 seats in the latest official count. The opposition Democratic Party of Japan may win as many as 127 seats, or less than the current 177, the NHK poll indicated. The DPJ had won 52 seats in the latest official count."
September 11, 2005 -- Mainichi Daily News has reported that "Ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) heavyweight Shinzo Abe called Sunday for early passage of the postal privatization bills, the focus of Sunday's House of Representatives general election, following a forecasted landslide for the LDP. Abe said the bills that would privatize Japan Post should be resubmitted to the Diet at a special session that must be convened within 30 days after the general election under the Constitution."
September 10, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
Three of Germany's largest newspaper groups are joining forces to create what they say will become the largest competitor to Deutsche Post once the country's postal market is fully opened to competition in 2008.
Unless the polls are terribly wrong, the public is set to reward Mr Koizumi's political gamble in calling a snap election, sealing his place as one of the most remarkable political figures in Japan's post-war history. Only a few weeks ago, when the prime minister dissolved parliament in a fit of anger over its rejection of his postal bills, some analysts described his decision as political suicide.
September 10, 2005 -- The Irish Times has reported that "Another bank has ruled itself out of a joint venture with An Post for a new banking service. An Post is currently accepting expressions of interest from potential joint venture partners, but Permanant TSB has already ruled itself out. Yesterday Danske Bank said it would not be submitting an expression of interest either."
September 10, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "The Federation Nationale du Credit Agricole, which represents the French regional banks that own 55% of listed Credit Agricole SA, has renewed an appeal to the European Commission to investigate plans for La Poste to extend its banking activities. A banking source said Credit Agricole's efforts are unlikely to scupper the postal bank altogether but could delay its launch."
September 10, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
The U.S. Postal Service is dedicated to achieving three major objectives – reconnect with customers who have been displaced, locate and care for employees who are missing or have been evacuated, and in the near term, re-establish regular delivery and retail service – in the Gulf Coast areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
In this commentary, postal consultant Cary Baer says that despite all the hoopla on Capitol Hill, real postal reform is taking place inside the U.S. Postal Service.
Dan Roberts of the Financial Times questions why the U.S. is one of the few developed nations where politicians are strengthening the government's dominance of the postal service instead of opening it up to competition.
With Congress' attention diverted, postal reform is on hold. Listening to Strasser.
Identity theft concerns slow online banking growth.
Russia to buy 900 postal railroad cars. Growth in Canada's catalog market. Royal Mail competitors demand deadline to end monopoly. Austrian Post to proceed with IPO. TNT venture opens Austria's first privately-owned post office. Posten is looking good.
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September 10, 2005 -- According to Air Cargo World, "UPS and its pilots will restart mediated contract talks after a two and half-month recess. The National Mediation Board scheduled talks between the two sides for Sept. 16-17 in Washington, according to officials from UPS and the Independent Pilots Association, which represents the UPS pilots."
September 9, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "DHL completed consolidation and transitioned primary hub operations to its new $300 million air and ground facility in Wilmington, Ohio - one month ahead of schedule."
September 9, 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.
September 9, 2005 -- The DMM on Postal Explorer (pe.usps.com) is your most current source for domestic mailing standards. The online DMM is available in PDF and HTML (text) formats, and it’s fully searchable. Check the Summary of Changes for a complete listing of DMM updates. Updates are listed by effective date and also by chapter, with clickable links to revised sections.
September 9, 2005 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "Hurricane Katrina is likely to slow growth and boost inflation pressures in the second half of this year, economists believe. But the economy could receive a modest boost early next year amid recovery efforts on the Gulf Coast." Increased inflation will mean higher USPS costs. Higher postal costs will mean higher postal rates.
September 9, 2005 -- According to the Mainichi Daily News, "Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) politician Yoshitada Konoike, who voted against the LDP's postal privatization bills in the House of Councillors, met with Mikio Aoki, head of the LDP politicians in the Upper House, on Friday and said he planned to support the bills if the LDP regained power in Sunday's Lower House election. "As a politician I have to respect the will of the people," Konoike reportedly said during the meeting."
September 9, 2005 -- Japan's mail system 'cannot be privatized,' ex-official says to the Washington Times.
September 9, 2005 -- The Daily News has reported that "Botswana Post public relations manager Keoagile Rafifing has revealed that they have engaged their personnel to attend kgotla and village development committee (VDC) meetings in an effort to educate the public about services they offer. Rafiffing said this in an interview with BOPA recently that many Batswana did not know much about Botswana Post and the myriad of services it offered."
September 9, 2005 -- As the Associated Press has noted, "When Typhoon Nabi tore through southern Japan a few days ago, the Japanese government rushed to the scene with the basics: food, water, rescue workers _ and a mobile post office. Fitted with a satellite dish, the "Space Post" truck arrived in storm-wrecked Takaoka ready to handle not only the townspeople's postal needs, but also their savings accounts and insurance deposits. In Japan, the post office isn't just about stamps and envelopes; it's a $3 trillion pillar of society, and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's goal of privatizing it is as huge and divisive an idea as President Bush's plans for American Social Security. But as the dispatch of the "Space Post" to Takaoka this week demonstrates, the post office _ like the ubiquitous police boxes and public schools _ has become a comforting symbol of the orderly, secure and predictable society that many Japanese fear is fragmenting. Koizumi's opponents argue privatization will reduce services to the countryside and put hard-earned savings in the hands of foreign speculators. A visit to a post office is like a glimpse into a quickly fading version of a Japan always ready to cater to every citizen's needs."
September 9, 2005 -- According to KIMT-TV, it's a matter of "Use it or lose it. That's what Mason City's post office is saying about a convenience that could cut down on your wait time. It's a machine designed to help you buy stamps and send packages faster. But it could soon be removed from the Mason City post office because people aren't using it. It's called the Automated Postal Center and it was put in place to help customers avoid the long lines at the windows."
September 9, 2005 -- The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is surveying mail flow out of the processing center at Buncher Commerce Park in Youngwood. According to a postal service letter, the study is addressing "the continuing decline of mail volume and the need to eliminate excess capacity while improving efficiency."
September 9, 2005 -- According to the latest information from the U.S. Postal Service:
"Hurricane Katrina Social Security check distribution extended for Louisiana and Mississippi locations. Louisiana distribution extended to Sept. 12 (No pickup Sunday, Sept. 11); Mississippi distribution extended to Sept. 16 (Pickup available all days). Click here for times and places. The Postal Service is now accepting Express Mail destined for ZIP Codes 369, 393 and 394. However, the suspension of Express Mail to ZIP Codes 395, 396, 700, 701, 703 and 704 remains in effect. The suspension of Standard Mail (Letters and Flats) and Periodicals Mail destined for ZIP Codes 369, 393 and 394 has been lifted, but remains in effect for ZIP Codes 395, 396, 700, 701, 703 and 704. Drop shipment appointments to ZIP Codes 369, 393 and 394 are being accepted — but appointments are required before any drop shipments can occur."
September 9, 2005 -- DM News has reported that there are some who still believe there may be chance for postal reform to pass the Senate this year.
September 9, 2005 -- NewIndPress has reported that "The Planning Commission has agreed to dispense an additional amount of Rs 50 crore for computerisation of post offices in the country."
September 9, 2005 -- The Pasadena Citizen has reported that "All Houston area post offices will be accepting donations of non-perishable food items and personal hygiene products on Saturday to donate to Hurricane Katrina victims. The donation drop is a joint effort between the American Postal Workers Union, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Association of Mail Handlers and the United States Postal Service."
September 8, 2005 -- UPS has announced it had begun working directly with the governors of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to support the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.
September 8, 2005 -- DHL is mobilizing its Disaster Response Team to assist with shipments of international aid arriving at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Little Rock, Arkansas. DHL’s contribution to the Hurricane Relief effort currently is estimated to be in excess of one million dollars.
September 8, 2005 -- From U.S. Newswire: "The National Association of Letter Carriers announced today that it is donating $50,000 to the Postal Employees' Relief Fund to help active and retired employees of the U.S. Postal Service recover from damage to their homes and property caused by Hurricane Katrina."
September 8, 2005 -- As GovExec.com has noted, there are signficant issues that may present some obstacles to Senate approval of S. 662.
September 8, 2005 -- Norway Post has announced that "The Board of Directors of Norway Post has resolved to appoint Klaus-Anders Nysteen, Senior Vice President Norway Post, (CFO) Finance and Control, as acting Chief Executive Officer of Norway Post with effect from 1 October 2005 until such time as a new CEO has been appointed to replace Kaare Frydenberg. The Board of Directors will take the time it needs to find the right person to manage one of Norway’s largest and most exciting companies."
September 8, 2005 -- Supply Management has reported that "Large business postal users will be reimbursed for some of the extra costs incurred when changes to mail pricing come into force in September 2006. Under the new pricing scheme, approved by postal regulator Postcomm last month, smaller but heavier items will become cheaper while larger bulkier letters and packages will become more expensive to send. The changes are expected to affect prices on around 30 per cent of business mail. But business users spending £100,000 or more a year and whose postal charges rise by at least 50 per cent under the new pricing structure will be reimbursed 40 per cent of their additional postal charges by Royal Mail in the first year. They will also recoup 20 per cent of the costs in the second year, with reimbursement taking the form of postal credits."
September 8, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service has posted on its web site a map of the mail service areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.
September 8, 2005 -- USPS News Link has noted that "The Postal Service’s hurricane response has focused on getting mail to displaced customers across the country, finding and helping employees uprooted by the storm and reestablishing service to customers in areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. The Postal Service has been successful in letting displaced customers know that USPS can get their mail to them — including Social Security, payroll checks and prescriptions by mail — no matter where they are, by providing their temporary address. To date, more than 38,000 hurricane victims have filed Changes of Address (COA) — and that number is growing quickly — most using the Internet COA option on usps.com, followed by Telephone COA through 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). Others have gone to Post Offices to complete and submit COA forms or mail them postage-free."
September 8, 2005 -- Japan Times has reported that "More than 70 percent of firms believe privatizing Japan Post is a necessary part of state restructuring plans, according to a survey released Wednesday by credit research agency Teikoku Databank."
September 8, 2005 -- DM News has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service sustained infrastructure damage of roughly $100 million, an agency official said yesterday, as a result of Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged much of the Gulf Coast last month. Thomas G. Day, senior vice president of government relations, told reporters yesterday that the damage extends to buildings, vehicles, processing equipment in the buildings, retail equipment and vending equipment. The $100 million figure is an estimate, he said. The agency is doing an assessment and will have a more solid number for the Office of Management and Budget by the end of September. Day said the OMB asked for the assessment. Day said that the USPS would discuss with its Board of Governors whether a request for appropriations would be made. Day also discussed other aspects of the postal service's response to Hurricane Katrina. Standard mail that was in the system has been diverted to Houston, "and as it has come into Houston we have broken it down by five-digit ZIP codes," he said. He also said the postal service's marketing group is working with large business mailers, asking them what they would like done with sale-dated materials, catalogs and direct mail pieces that were not delivered." See also CNN and the Associated Press.
September 7, 2005 -- According to DM News postal commentator Cary Baer, "Real postal reform may be on the way."
September 7, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "FedEx launched today the first overnight express flights between India and China."
September 7, 2005 -- Postal reform is likely to be sidetracked as the House Committee on Government Reform and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs begin holding hearings on government's failure to respond appropriately to the public's needs regarding Hurricane Katrina.
September 7, 2005 -- Agenzia Giornalistica Italia has reported that "Poste Italiane (Italian Mail) managing director Massimo Sarmi and General Commander of the Finance Police (GDF), gen. Roberto Speciale, have signed an agreement entrusting Poste Italiane with the task of integrated management of GDF correspondence. The agreement - reports a statement - entails the opening of a post office at the Finance Police HQ and a postal account ATM too, offering all Poste Italiane products. The 5-year contract follows the one signed last year entailing benefits for the purchase of BancoPosta products by Finance Police personnel. The goal is to offer innovative services and customised solutions to increase efficiency."
September 7, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
In connection with Deutsche Post's announcement regarding its interest in British logistics operator Exel, competitors and their organisations demanded a fixed and binding deadline for the termination of the letter monopoly. The post's letter monopoly and universal service obligation should end in 2007 at the latest, according to the German Association of Courier, Express and Postal Service Operators (BdKEP e.V.). The market should be opened and the post's exemption from VAT be abolished at the same time, regardless of the outcome of the EU Commission's pending decision on further liberalisation measures. The Association of International Express and Courier Services (BIEK e.V.) pointed to the "abnormous high profits which the post achieves through its letter monopoly in Germany" and demanded that the express segment be separated from the post business.
Norway's Posten AS looks back on a strong first half. The turnover growth was the result of acquisitions as well as a positive market development for direct mail and the logistics and express segments.
The planned floatation of Austria's Osterreichische Post is still a source of heated political debate. After a faction within coalition partner OVP (Austrian People's Party) had favoured a postponement of the IPO until 2007, Vice Chancellor Hubert Gorbach said on Friday that the post should definitely go public before the end of the current term, and earlier this week Chancellor Wolfgang Schassel also advocated staying with previous IPO plans. The Chancellor subsequently came under severe attack from the trade union, which published a declaration on Tuesday in which the government is accused of "squandering national wealth".
The Hungarian opposition party Fidesz is campaigning with a draft intended to stop privatisation of government-owned companies including Magyar Posta.
Following a number of press interviews and discussion rounds, in which Mr Zumwinkel had proposed new laws pertaining to the autonomy in negotiating pay agreements, ver.di and Deutsche Post supervisory board member Rolf Buttner threatened to launch the first postal strike since 1994.
Last Thursday saw the opening of Austria's first privately-owned post office in Dellach (in the Kaernten province). The facility is operated by private mail service RedMail, a joint venture between TNT and the Styria publishing house.
Last Thursday the supervisory board of Osterreichische Post AG reached an expected decision on a new strategy programme. The post will thus pull out of the DPD parcel service and instead set up its own B2B network again by 2007 at the latest. The post wants to expand further in south-eastern Europe. In the Czech Republic, the post intends to announce the takeover of a parcel service within the next two weeks, which Mr Wais labelled as "the biggest acquisition in the history of Osterreichische Post" but declined to supply details. Market observers also expect acquisitions in Bulgaria and Hungary.
The Danish transport and logistics group DFDS and the German logistics giant Rhenus will both become partners of the new parcel service Red Parcel Post in Germany.
TNT continues to pull out of the Norwegian market. According to an announcement last week, Box Delivery -a subsidiary of the Norwegian post - took over delivery of TNT parcels in Oslo on 1 September and now covers the whole country for TNT.
Last Friday UPS published plans for a 12.5% increase of the fuel supplement for its most important express services.
In an interview with the daily "Die Welt", CEO Rico Back of GLS announced a change of company strategy. According to Mr Back, the Royal Mail subsidiary and third biggest parcel service in Europe intends to open between 50,000 and 60,000 parcel shops over the next five years throughout its geographical areas of activity. GLS has already opened its first shops in the Netherlands, Denmark and Portugal, to be followed by France, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Ireland in the next few weeks. Mr Back refuted speculations that Royal Mail was considering selling GLS for financial reasons.
September 7, 2005 -- For those of you who may not be familiar with the National Association of Major Mail Users' e-publication, eView, the most recent copy has been posted on this site.
September 7, 2005 - The Duluth News Tribune has reported that "By many accounts, Japan has the best postal service in the world. At the most far-flung of its 24,700 post offices, such as in this mountain village, mail carriers make house calls to wrap packages, deliver cash and even arrange insurance. Service is so quick and reliable that Japanese commonly use the mail to send fruit, fresh seaweed and cut flowers as gifts. Parcels are delivered three times a day. But Japan Post is in the political crosshairs. As a combination postal service, insurance behemoth and savings bank, it locks up assets greater than $3 trillion, making it effectively the world's largest savings bank. Breaking up Japan Post is a cornerstone of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's campaign to win re-election Sunday. He asserts that it must be dismantled to halt politicians from siphoning off near-limitless funds for public works, colluding with construction firms to build roads to nowhere."
September 6, 2005 -- CNET has reported that "The number of people who turn to the Internet for personal banking isn't growing--but those who are already hooked on such services are using them more often, a new survey has shown."
September 6, 2005 - Japan Today has reported that "The Japanese government may delay the commencement of the planned privatization of the postal system for up to one year until April 2008 depending on the development of information systems." See also Japan Times.
September 6, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "Seeking to rein in soaring costs for its LTL customers, FedEx Freight said Tuesday it would restrict its fuel surcharge to levels not exceeding prices before Hurricane Katrina."
September 6, 2005 -- From MarketWire: "Postal Connections of America (PCA), a rapidly growing franchise chain of postal, business and communication services stores, reports the expansion into three new states -- Alabama, Florida, and Indiana. Currently, the franchise network of 94 stores, sold or open, is in 25 states. PCA has added 18 new franchisees, a 24% increase this year, and has had 14 new franchise sales in the past two months. Since January 2002, when current management was put in place, the franchise chain has grown by 276%."
2005 -- As the nation attempts to deal with the disaster from Hurricane
Katrina, the USPS continues its outreach to locate employees, assess facility
damage, and restore service where possible. The USPS continues to update its
Service Updates area on its web site with information on the status of postal
service in the areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina: http://www.usps.com/communications/news/serviceupdates.htm?from=bannercommunications&page=katrina
The USPS reported today that to date more than 36,000 hurricane victims have filed a Change of Address. It also noted that "when and where it is safe to do so, the Postal Service is reentering storm-damaged areas to reopen Post Offices to restore mail delivery and service, and establish mobile retail centers to serve customer needs in damaged areas." The USPS now has provided a color-coded map on its web site that shows the status of post offices in the hurricane-affected areas, at: http://www.usps.com/communications/news/serviceupdates/zipmap.htm?from=bannercommunications&page=katrinamap
Currently the map shows that there are 171 post offices with full service in the affected area, 113 post offices with no service, 189 post offices with partial service, and 133 post offices categorized with "other" status. "Federal Agencies can continue to send First-Class Mail to their customer's address," the USPS advised, "If it can be delivered, it will be, or it will be made available at the local post office." "If the residence and customer are no longer there, the Postal Service will redirect and deliver the mail to the customer's temporary location based on the change of address. In the event that the mail cannot be delivered or forwarded, it will be returned to the sender."
September 6, 2005 -- Washington Technology has reported that "EMC Corp. has won a five-year contract from the U.S. Postal Service to upgrade disaster recovery and data storage systems, the company announced today. The initial contract is valued at $30 million, according to EMC. Under the task order contract, the EMC of Hopkinton, Mass., will implement its storage hardware, software and services to strengthen and improve existing infrastructure and support the Postal Service’s storage infrastructure, as well as provide for business continuity and disaster recovery planning for critical business applications. The Postal Service’s infrastructure is growing at 200 percent in certain operations and becoming increasingly layered with a complex environment of multiple servers and mainframes, Postal Service officials said."
September 6, 2005 -- NamNews has reported that "KarstadtQuelle AG has sold three logistics centres to British property investor IXIS Capital Partners. The distribution warehouses are located in Unna, Essen, and Brieselang. A few weeks ago, German banking group Hypo-Vereinsbank (HVB) estimated the value of the warehouse in Unna, which has a space of 300,000 sq. m., at E150m. KarstadtQuelle did not give any details about the price of the deal."
September 6, 2005 -- From Business Wire: "The United States Postal Service has awarded Siemens Logistics and Assembly Systems Inc.'s Postal Automation division a $560 million contract to provide additional software, equipment and services to expand the Postal Automated Redirection System (PARS) to all mail sorting centers across the country over the next 28 months. The PARS software and special mail processing equipment will be installed at 233 additional processing centers. The contract also includes logistics support services. The contract follows the PARS Phase 1 contract awarded in 2002. During the first phase, the complex program was deployed and proven at 50 mail processing centers, 180 forwarding centers and 16 remote mail encoding centers."
September 6, 2005 -- Kommersant has reported that "Tatarstan’s decision to independently privatize its mail service – the state-run Tatarstan Pochtasy – was rebuffed by the federal authorities of Russia. Tatarstan Pochtasy (Mail of Tatarstan) is the republic operator of mail service that unites around 1,100 branches located in Tatarstan. 2004 revenues reached 290 million rubles. Tatarstan’s authorities sealed the program for the company’s privatization on June 28, 2005. As decided, the state-run Tatarstan Pochtasy will be reorganized into a joint stock company of similar name with all assets of the state-run predecessor transferred respectively. But under the Federal Mail Service Restructuring Concept passed by the RF Cabinet in 2003, all mail offices of Russia are to become affiliates of the federally-run Mail of Russia. "Tatarstan Pochtasy’s privatization ruins integrity of the national postal territory. We won’t put up with this situation and intend to go to law to annul the decision,” said Andrey Beskorovainy, head of the Federal Communication Agency of Russia (Rossvyaz)."
September 6, 2005 -- The cash component of cash-rich Deutsche Post AG's planned acquisition of Exel PLC would exceed 70 pct of the purchase price, a source familiar with the matter told AFX News. The German postal service operator already has several bln eur of cash at its disposal, as well as the authority to issue up to 250 mln new shares worth close to 5 bln eur that it could use as an acquisition currency.
September 6, 2005 -- Today Online carries the story that "Deutsche Post, the semi-privatised German postal service, is planning a capital increase of more than 1.5 billion euros (1.9 billion dollars) to finance its acquisition of British logistics group Exel, the business daily Handelsblatt reported. . Bonn-based Deutsche Post is to use the issue of new shares to pay for about one third of the acquisition price, the newspaper said, quoting financial sources. . The Financial Times Deutschland quoted sources close to the talks as saying that shares would make up 30 percent of the purchase price, which would be paid in a combination of cash and shares."
September 6, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that:
Finland Post Corporation will build a logistics centre in Moscow, Russia, meeting all present-day logistics requirements. Consisting of storage, terminal and office premises, these facilities will total around 40,000m² in floor area. The new logistics centre will provide warehousing, terminal and transport services to the expanding Russian markets. Finland Post will create a local distribution network in co-operation with its partners. The building project will begin immediately and the centre will be brought into use in early 2007. Capital expenditure on the centre totals approximately €40 million. Finland Post currently operates service warehouses and terminals in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Denmark.
DHL, the global express delivery and logistics company, has launched a major strategic initiative focused on DHL Import Express, a unique, all-inclusive, door-to-door service for expediting imports to Europe and between third countries. Import Express enables European customers to ship documents and packages of any size, weight or value from or between 218 countries – with one simple solution using just one company, one currency and one invoice. Industries that DHL is targeting include manufacturing, automotive, textile, electronics, pharmaceutical, aerospace and financial services.
September 6, 2005 -- In a letter to the editor of DM News, Dick Howlett of Army Times Publishing wrote:
"When an individual of Dick Strasser’s commitment to excellence in mail delivery points out what the pending postal reform legislation will do to the U.S. Postal Service, we should all pay attention (“Fuel Costs Force January Rate Hike; Reform Bills ‘Disastrous,’ USPS’ CFO Says,” Aug. 22). His experience at all levels in the USPS, and especially from where he has sat for the past few years, gives him a powerful position from which to speak. Often, seeing things from within an organization is very different than seeing from without. The last thing any well-intentioned politician or mailer wants to do is make postal service employees less responsive. If Dick Strasser says it won’t work, we should all listen."
September 6, 2005 -- The Houston Chronicle has reported that "Special ZIP codes have been established and volunteers are working with U.S. Postal Service officials on permanent and temporary changes of address for evacuees displaced by Hurricane Katrina who have taken shelter in the Reliant Park complex and the George R. Brown Convention Center. More than 2,000 evacuees have filled out change-of-address forms since the temporary post offices were set up in Houston's two largest shelters after Hurricane Katrina forced evacuations from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama."
September 6, 2005 -- Reconnect, respond and reestablish are the objectives the U. S. Postal Service is focusing on in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. According to Azeezaly S. Jaffer, Vice President, Public Affairs and Communication, the Postal Service is moving to reconnect with customers who have been displaced, seeking responses from employee who have been evacuated and in the near term, reestablish regular delivery and retail service.
September 6, 2005 -- The Evening Star has reported that "SUFFOLK is benefiting from a significantly improved postal system, new statistics revealed today. The watchdog for postal services - Postwatch East of England - welcomed the figures which show improvements in first class postal performance across the IP area."
September 5, 2005 -- According to Nikkei, "Some 60% of respondents said they support the Liberal Democratic Party's party platform for the upcoming Sept. 11 upper house election, while just 14% backed the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, in a Nihon Keizai Shimbun Inc. survey of 100 bureaucrats in economy-related posts."
September 5, 2005 -- This Is North Scotland has reported that "City postal workers have been praised after statistics showed Aberdeen has the best first-class post performance in Scotland. The Royal Mail has revealed that between April and June, 95.9% of first-class post was delivered the next working day. The national minimum target is 93%. Aberdeen showed an improvement on last year's figures."
September 5, 2005 -- The Austrian government is planning to change the postal law to enable that Austria's state postal service, Oesterreichische Post AG, can operate competitively in a liberalized postal market, Carl Ferrari-Brunnenfeld, spokesman of the infrastructure minister said Monday. "This is a necessary first step to make Austria's postal service competitive and to enable the privatization or a possible public offering in due course," Ferrari-Brunnenfeld, told Dow Jones Newswires.
September 5, 2005 -- According to Bloomberg, "Deutsche Post AG Chief Executive Officer Klaus Zumwinkel, still losing money at his biggest overseas acquisition, may face a bidding war for Exel Plc that investors in Europe's biggest postal service want to avoid. United Parcel Service Inc., the world's largest package- delivery company, hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to assess a bid for Exel, the Daily Telegraph reported Sept. 3. Deutsche Post may offer a mix of cash and stock worth more than 12 pounds for each Exel share, valuing the company at about 3.6 billion pounds ($6.7 billion), the Financial Times said today."
September 5, 2005 -- RTE has reported that "Postal workers at An Post have vetoed Labour Court proposals which would have allowed wage increases under Sustaining Progress to be paid to all the company's 10,000 employees." See also Business World and the Irish Examiner.
September 5, 2005 -- The New York Times has reported that "AS the Gulf Coast reels from Katrina's devastation, online businesses are struggling to gauge the impact of the possible loss of half a million prospective customers for weeks or months. "This is a tough one, because it is a big market," said Patti Freeman Evans, an analyst with Jupiter Research, an Internet consulting firm. "You can't get goods in there, and people aren't in their homes anyway, so there's not much companies can do."
September 5, 2005 -- The BBC Monitoring Service has reported that "The Japanese Communist Party plans to call on other parties to join hands to scrap the postal privatization bills Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi aims to resubmit to the Diet after Sunday's [11 September] general election, JCP chief Kasuo Shii said Monday."
September 5, 2005 -- The Irish Times has reported that "The large increase in foreign workers living in Ireland has provided a major boost to the retail operations of An Post, new data show. According to figures obtained by The Irish Times , the volume of international money transmissions going through the post office network has grown by more than 600 per cent since 2000. Most of the growth has been fuelled by foreign workers sending money back to family members in their home countries."
September 5, 2005 -- ABC Money has reported that "Peter Bakker, the chief executive of mail and logistics giant TNT, which runs the TNT Mail in the UK has revealed that they are going to make life tougher for Royal Mail, a fact which has also been driven home by Deutsche Post's massive £3.5 billion bid for Exel, a logistics firm."
September 5, 2005 -- Portfolio.hu has reported that "Viktor Orbán, Hungary's former Prime Minister and the head of centre-right opposition party Fidesz, said at an exclusive picnic on Saturday that his party was proposing the government to sign a pact on state assets that could not be privatised. Orbán said Parliament should create legislation detailing all state assets that must not be sold. He said these assets should be national railway company MÁV, postal services Magyar Posta, Budapest Airport, the operator of Ferihegy Airport, hospitals and motorways."
September 5, 2005 -- According to Transport Intelligence:
UPS has been tipped as the front runner to challenge DPWN for the UK contract logistics and freight forwarding company and reports in the national press suggest that it is presently talking with a number of investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, over a possible bid.
DHL is on track for a September launch of its new U.S. air hub, but must improve its ground operations, according to the company's parent Deutsche Post. DHL's Wilmington, Ohio, air hub is under budget and on schedule to open in mid-September, a month earlier than originally planned.
September 5, 2005 -- The San Antonio Express-News has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service has recalled 70 million commemorative stamps because incorrect accent marks were placed in the text on the back of the sheets where the stamps are mounted. The stamps, which celebrate Latin dances, had not been sold to the public yet, and the corrected versions should be completed in time for the original issue date, which is Sept. 17. Reprinting the 37-cent stamps will cost $172,000."
September 5, 2005 -- According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "The U.S. Postal Service is the butt of slow-delivery jokes, but it has advanced data systems that are helping a northeast Minneapolis company speed updated addresses to mailers."
September 4, 2005 -- Effective Wednesday September 7th Fairrington will be offering an ADC pallet breakdown to separate the unserviceable 3-digit zips from the unaffected 3-digit areas. It will rescheme to create a Mixed ADC pallet for the good zips in the New Orleans service area and to create an ADC pallet for Jackson MS with only the zips that Jackson can serve. This will prevent Jackson from becoming inundated with Periodicals that will have to be held as well as provide some level of service to unaffected areas. This will be a very dynamic process and will be adapted as service areas are added or subtracted. Those interested should call 800-323-5935.
September 4, 2005 -- As the New York Times has rightly noted, "The eclipse of "snail mail" in the age of instant electronic communication has been predicted at least as often as the coming of the paperless office. But the consumption of paper keeps rising. (It has roughly doubled since 1980, with less use of newsprint and much more of ordinary office paper.) And so, with some nuances and internal changes, does the flow of material carried by mail. On average, an American household receives twice as many pieces of mail a day as it did in the 1970's. The Internet and allied technologies, meanwhile, are increasing the volume of old-fashioned mail."
September 4, 2005 -- United Press International has reported that "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi plans to make privatizing the postal service his top issue if he has a majority after the upcoming election."
September 4, 2005 -- According to This Is Money, "ROYAL Mail could be forced out of business within three years if rival services are allowed unfettered competition, executives have warned the Government."
September 4, 2005 -- The Independent has said that "The Royal Mail is to face a three-way battle for customers and will lose up to a third of its revenues, one of its main rivals is predicting."
September 4, 2005 -- According to The Telegraph, "Executives at Royal Mail woke up on Thursday morning to discover that one of their major competitors is about to get even bigger. After months of speculation, Deutsche Post, the privatised mail company that is still part-owned by the German government, admitted that it is in talks to mount a £3.5bn take-over bid for Exel, the UK logistics group. If Deutsche Post pulls off the deal, Royal Mail could find some very large foreign tanks parked on its lawn. Deutsche Post's move comes just months before the liberalisation of the UK's mail market."
September 3, 2005 -- The New York Times has noted that "Even though Kathy Posner lives atop a mall on Chicago's Magnificent Mile shopping boulevard, she can count the number of times she has visited a retail store this summer on one hand. Posner orders books at Amazon.com. She purchases airline and movie tickets over the Internet. She fills prescriptions on Walgreen's Web site. All told, she spends more than $2,000 each month on all the clothes, flowers, jewelry--and even Omaha steaks--she buys online. But for all the convenience of shopping in cyberspace, Posner, 49, will not handle her bank account or pay bills over the Internet. She is adamant about writing checks, licking the envelope, and even standing in the bank teller line. "I love online shopping," she added, "but I just don't trust banking online."
September 3, 2005 -- According to Air Cargo World, "DHL is on track for a September launch of its new U.S. air hub, but it still must improve its ground operations, according to the company's parent company Deutsche Post. Deutsche Post also said DHL reached better than 97 percent on-time delivery for all products. Despite the good news, DHL said it still needs to weed out unprofitable delivery operations and push its U.S. ground operations to achieve the same performance as the air division."
September 3, 2005 -- The Telegraph has reported that "American parcels giant UPS is working with investment bank Goldman Sachs to explore whether it should enter the fray for Exel, potentially triggering a bid battle for the British supply chain company."
September 3, 2005 -- The Louisville Courier-Journal has reported that "The union representing UPS pilots said yesterday it would delay a request to edge closer to a potential strike, citing the devastation of Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast."
September 3, 2005 -- The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner has reported that "Mail destined for Barrow on flights from Fairbanks and Anchorage may soon be trucked first to Prudhoe Bay and then flown the shorter distance to save money, under a new U.S. Postal Service plan. Several air carriers and the North Slope Borough aren't happy about the change, which postal officials presented at a meeting in Barrow on Aug. 24. A second meeting will be held in Fairbanks on Sept. 22. Dispatching Barrow's mail out of Prudhoe would kill many of the passenger and freight flights that connect the community to Fairbanks and Anchorage several times a day, according to Dennis Packer, chief administrative officer of the North Slope Borough. "They want to put this region back to where it was in the 1960s," Packer said of the Postal Service's plan."
September 3, 2005 -- The Akron Beacon-Journal has reported that "After more than 100 years of service in this tiny southern Ohio town, the U.S. Postal Service suspended operations Friday after it balked at paying $400 more a month in rent. Landlord Vicki Slone, who has owned the two-story, wood-framed structure since June 2004, issued an eviction notice in early August after she says postal officials refused to negotiate. Slone defended the rent increase, saying she and her husband spent $3,000 repainting and repairing the roof and windows and need to recoup the money."
September 3, 2005 -- The InternetRetailer has reported that "The three major shipping carriers have suspended deliveries to areas in Louisiana and Mississippi hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina. Federal Express is discouraging shipments or suspending services to the Zip Codes 70000-70499 in New Orleans and 39426-39595 in Biloxi and Gulfport, MS, and the surrounding areas. United Parcel Service also is discontinuing delivery and pickups to most of the same areas of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle due to storm damage and flooding. Packages already in the system will be returned to the shipper as permitted, UPS says. All three carriers are posting updates on service to the affected areas on their web sites: www.fedex.com; www.usps.com; and www.ups.com."
September 3, 2005 -- KATC-TV has reported that "The U-S Postal Service is gearing up to provide free post office boxes to those facing long-term evacuation because of Hurricane Katrina. The announcement came this afternoon in Houston, where a temporary post office has been opened for evacuees. District manager Cliff Rucker says evacuees anywhere in the country can visit any post office and request the free service. Rucker says the agency will make as many boxes available as needed."
Spetember 3, 2005 -- ITP Technology has reported that "Saudi Post’s home delivery plans will be underpinned by one of the largest radio frequency identification (RFID) projects in the world, according to sources. The national postal carrier is understood to be planning to install millions of RFID-enabled post-boxes across the Kingdom as part of a US$270million project to support its new home delivery service, Wasel. The Wasel project, a key step in Saudi Post’s efforts to transform itself prior to privatisation, will eliminate the need for customers to collect mail from post offices, as the postal service will deliver and collect mail from their homes instead."
September 3, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Top executives at Exel are set to meet their counterparts at Deutsche Post this weekend to try and hammer out the terms of a deal with the aim of launching a bid within the next two weeks. "Both sides are trying to get a deal done as fast as possible but nothing has yet been agreed," one person close to the situation said. The push to accelerate talks between the UK logistics company, which has a market valuation of £3.44bn, and Europe's biggest postal group came as investment bankers scrambled to try and interest counterbidders in a potential deal."
September 3, 2005 -- From the Canada NewsWire: "As gas prices hit record heights, Canada Post is refusing to share its fuel surcharge revenues with its cash-strapped rural and suburban mail carriers. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has been trying to get relief for the thousands of rural and suburban mail carriers who pay their own gas costs as the price at the pumps soared as high as $1.34 a litre this week. "They are pushing our members to the breaking point" declared Deborah Bourque, CUPW National President. The 6000 rural and suburban mail carriers represented by the CUPW must, under the terms of their first contract, pay all of their own fuel costs and are reimbursed vehicle expenses based on rates over 2 years old. Canada Post imposes a fuel surcharge on parcels and premium products. This surcharge, which has been in place for over a year, is currently 5.25% but will increase to 6.75% on Sept. 5. Some surcharge revenue goes to Canada Post's own vehicles and selected contractors. Yet, incredibly, none of the money goes to rural and suburban mail carriers."
September 3, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "Pilots at UPS, the world's largest package delivery company, voted to allow their union leaders to seek an end to contract talks and approved a strike if an agreement with the company couldn't be reached. Members of the Independent Pilots Assn. voted 2,382 to 21, or 99 percent, in favor of both actions, the union said."
September 2, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
Recent “personal” comments by a U.S. Postal Service officer and an August statement from the chairman of the Board of Governors have hinted at USPS concerns with the governance structure in the postal reform bills now moving through Congress. Others at the Postal Service share these views and are beginning to circulate the more specific concerns the USPS has with the governance and authority aspects of both the House and Senate postal bills.
The Congressional Budget Office has written Senator Judd Gregg about the long-term effects of the Senate’s Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, S. 662, on the U.S. Postal Service’s financial condition and the bill’s potential implications for taxpayers and postal ratepayers.
In this perspective, postal commentator Gene Del Polito says any doubt about the importance of mail and the U.S. Postal Service was swept away by Hurricane Katrina.
Postal Service working to quickly restore mail service, establish contact with employees in Katrina’s wake. USPS establishes temporary locations for Social Security check distribution. Walsh retires from Board of Governors. Pitney Bowes to acquire Firstlogic. UPS donates $1.25 million to hurricane relief. Postal Service recalls dance stamps due to error. UPS, some ‘store’ operators at odds.
The Internet taxman cometh.
Koizumi vows to quit if he loses. Deutsche Post board members cash in. Japan Post wins Tobu parcel assignment from Yamato. German surveys contain bad news, semi-good news for Deutsche Post. Pochta Rossii enters money transfer market. TNT launches value-added service center. Quelle, DHL celebrate billionth package. Amtrak Express acquires Nightspeed.
September 2, 2005 -- Europe-Economics has released its most recent white paper on The net cost of universal postal service in the new postal market.
September 2, 2005 -- GovExec.com has reported that "As the General Services Administration sorts out the details of its reorganization, senior managers and vendors have expressed concern and confusion over the impact the changes will have on them, while agency clients have said the changes are unlikely to increase the amount of business they do with GSA. The Postal Service said GSA's reorganization will not lead them to buy more through the agency, but that the service expects to make more purchases on its own because it can save money that way. Homeland Security recently awarded a large contract directly to DHL, the express shipping company, instead of going through GSA."
September 2, 2005 -- According to the Jerusalem Post, "France has decided to launch a stamp commemorating Alfred Dreyfus, the Jewish army captain wrongly accused of spying for the Germans in 1894. His trial set off major anti-Jewish demonstrations across the country and is commonly considered one of the worst anti-Semitic incidents in French history."
September 2, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "New Orleans mail has been diverted to Houston, and evacuees nationwide can restart mail service from the post office nearest where they are staying, the U.S. Postal Service said Friday. In addition, a general-delivery ZIP code -- 77230 -- has been set up for the more than 11,000 evacuees at the Astrodome. Astrodome evacuees will get mail that has their name, a "general delivery" designation and the special ZIP code."
September 2, 2005 -- As Traffic World has noted, "The U.S. Postal Service says it wants to re-connect displaced and evacuated Hurricane Katrina victims with their mail. All that customers have to do is fill out a form. Hurricane victims in areas without telephone service or Internet access should go to the nearest dry post office, complete a change-of-address form, and submit it to a postal Retail Associate at the counter or mail it -- it's postage free.
September 2, 2005 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "FedEx launched contingency plans for shipments destined for the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the area."
September 2, 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.
September 2, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "TNT Mail has won a three-year deal to handle energy supplier Npower's customer statements and direct marketing materials, as its parent company revealed it is drawing up plans to offer end-to-end delivery. Npower is TNT's first utility sector client and follows Powergen's move to private mail operator UK Mail."
September 2, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "The Postal Service wants to re-connect displaced and evacuated Hurricane Katrina victims with their mail. As it begins to restore mail delivery in areas where it is safe to do so, the Postal Service is asking customers unable to receive delivery at their permanent address to file a change of address. The quickest and easiest method? Electronically. Customers who can, should utilize the Postal Service's Internet or Telephone Change of Address option. It's quick, convenient, secure, and will start the process of redirecting mail to your new address within 24 hours. Electronic change of addresses can be filed online at http://www.usps.com/ or by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). Hurricane victims in areas without telephone service or internet access should go to the nearest post office, complete a change-of-address form, and submit it to a postal Retail Associate at the counter or mail it -- it's postage free."
September 2, 2005 -- The future of the United States Postal Service and the value of mail to small businesses across America are two topics Postmaster General John E. Potter will share with partners and customers across the country on “National PCC Day,” Sept. 14. Postal Customer Councils (PCCs), located nationwide with more than 120,000 members, have an important role in helping the Postal Service add value and make the mail work better for our customers. These important, strategic partnerships between the mailing industry, the Postal Service and its business customers have the potential for exciting and new avenues for growth opportunity. Mr. Potter will be speaking live via satellite from the Lakeland Mailing Expo in Middleton, WI. The broadcast also will feature announcements of the 2005 PCC Award winners. For more information on Postal Customer Councils and National PCC Day: www.usps.com/nationalpcc To join Postal Service officials in Washington, reply to: email@example.com 202.268.3118.
September 2, 2005 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "If there ever was any doubt that mail and the U.S. Postal Service still play important roles in the way we as a nation communicate and do business, it dissipated along with the winds of Hurricane Katrina. Amidst the largest natural disaster in American history, the need to reestablish vital mail links to those who have been devastated by the storm are among the nation's paramount concerns."
September 2, 2005 -- UPS has announced plans to raise its cap to 12.5% on the fuel surcharge applied to UPS Next Day Air®, UPS 2nd Day Air® and UPS 3 Day Select® and U.S. international air services beginning Oct. 3. The surcharge continues to be calculated from an index based on the average price for a gallon of kerosene-type jet fuel and remains the lowest among major air express carriers, even with the new cap.
September 2, 2005 -- PostInsight has posted some new (and excellent) papers on mail. They are:
"Share Shifts Across Postal Products" by Fouad H. Nader (Adrenale Corporation). Postage rate categories are proliferating. Various service standards, and mail preparation, presorting, or down-stream tendering options are causing sophisticated mailers to take advantage of discounts and find the optimal product, rate-class, and service level to access the postal system. This paper examines how customers and mail service providers are shifting their mailings between product classes and mail streams in response to market conditions and postal developments.
"The Impact of Age, Generation and Life Stage on Use of Mail and Media" by Chrystal Szeto, Pitney Bowes. The communications landscape has been undeniably widened by the advent of new technology in the last three decades. However, it is still unclear how the plethora of new options will affect the communications media mix with respect to mail, as well as the media consumption patterns of future generations. This paper thoroughly reviews studies conducted at different points throughout the twentieth century that examine: the use of new technology by children; the adoption of computers and the Internet among children and the resultant impact on their time allocation; and predictions about the behavior and characteristics of the GenX and Millennial generations. It also quantifies objectively the "generational effect" to date on mail volumes.
"Economic Activity as a Driver of Mail" by Elena Diakova, Pitney Bowes. In the past, the letter post volume could generally be predicted by the rate of growth in real GDP, and the state of the economy and business cycle were the major factors that significantly impacted mail demand. However, increasing adoption rates for new technologies have likely contributed to the growing perception that "digital communications have posed a growing challenge for mail in the last decade". This paper analyzes the impact of various economic indicators on mail demand, since a detailed understanding of the business cycle, economic activity, and outside factors that uniquely influence individual categories of mail may be essential to comprehend the future effect of electronic substitution on mail volume.
September 2, 2005 -- Business Plus has reported that "The independent business organisation ISME has criticised the decision by ComReg to recommend a dramatic increase in postal charges for large envelopes and packages, which are mainly processed by business customers. ISME chief executive Mark Fielding said that the decision by the communications regulator represents a “kick in the teeth” to smaller businesses that are already reeling from significant business cost increases over the past number of years."
September 2, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "C.H. Robinson Worldwide, the US freight forwarder, has acquired, two freight forwarding companies, Hirdes Group Worldwide ("Hirdes"), and Bussini Transport S.r.l. ("Bussini"). The two companies combined had gross revenues of approximately $52 million in 2004. Hirdes provides air and ocean international forwarding, with seven locations in Germany and three locations in the United States. Bussini, based in Milan, Italy, provides international freight forwarding, customs brokerage, and domestic truck services."
September 2, 2005 -- WDSU (New Orleans) has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service set up locations Thursday at which residents of the area devastated by Hurricane Katrina can pick up their first-of-the-month checks. Officials said they are no longer accepting magazines or bulk mail for delivery to the damaged area. Dozens of post offices are closed and mail service is suspended in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, but officials say they are working to get mail to people. Deputy Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said vital mail includes such things as Social Security and pension checks, paychecks, insurance forms and medicine shipped by mail. Pickup centers have been set up in Escatawpa, Biloxi and Gulfport, Miss., and in Louisiana at Hammond, Covington, LaPlace and Des Allemands. Plans for a pickup center in Alabama were dropped after officials said they expected to be able to resume deliveries there. Donahoe said mail service in Mississippi is close to normal in Jackson and to the north, although the agency is facing a shortage of gasoline in some rural areas. Service remains disrupted south of Jackson, particularly close to the ocean, he said. Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes and Donahoe urges them to contact the Postal Service with their new address, even if it is temporary."
September 2, 2005 -- According to the Mainichi Daily News, "Japan faces a host of issues that need to be dealt with. A day-care shortage is hobbling women's efforts to get into the work force and discouraging many from having children. Immigration policy needs to be loosened if Japan is to have enough workers to power its economy into the future. Japan is also going through important transitions in military and foreign policy. The government has dispatched troops to Iraq despite a split in public opinion, and is considering amendments to the constitution to give the military a bigger role abroad. But Koizumi so far has skillfully deflected opposition attempts to bring up such issues, arguing that splitting up and selling postal delivery, savings and insurance services is of primary importance because it would put Japan's prodigious savings in the hands of private investors. The tactic so far seems to be working as Koizumi's standing has risen in the polls."
September 2, 2005 -- The Beaumont Enterprise has reported that "Southeast Texans with utility bills pending still can send them in the mail, even if they are addressed to Entergy in New Orleans. Its headquarters there is under water because of levee breaks in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. "Arrangements are made with the postal service to capture those bills," said Entergy Texas spokesman David Caplan."
September 2, 2005 -- ITWeek has reported that"In 2002 Royal Mail was losing £1m a day and employee relations had reached a low. Three years later, the group - which includes Royal Mail, Post Office and Parcelforce - has introduced systems to improve working practices and posted record annual profits of £537m (Computing, 2 June). Business change, redundancies and Post Office closures were necessary tenets of the organisation's modernisation programme, but major changes to business processes using technology also played a fundamental role in its transformation. 'IT has made a big contribution to the overall bottom line in many ways. It has been a major component of the change,' Wendy Powney, Royal Mail's enterprise IT director, told Computing."
September 2, 2005 -- The Independent has reported that "Allan Leighton, chairman of Royal Mail, can only look on and weep. While overseas rivals respond to the challenge of deregulation by expanding into new businesses and new territories, he's condemned to make the best of what he's got. Trapped within the Treasury-controlled boundaries of the public finances, all he can do to meet the challenge of postal competition is slash costs to match the decline in revenues. The already privatised Deutsche Post, by contrast, is moving to reduce its dependence on the German domestic market, where its monopoly is due to end in 2007, by expanding overseas."
September 2, 2005 -- Suddeutsche Zeitung has reported that "General Logistics Systems (GLS), Europe's third-largest parcel delivery service, is planning to expand on the German market. The company wishes to have an extensive network of its own branches throughout Europe in future, and is aiming to raise the number of outlets it operates in various retail stores in Germany from 2,500 to 5,000 within the next year. In particular, the company is hoping to lure private customers away from German postal service operator Deutsche Post."
September 2, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "Melissa Data, a provider of data quality software and services, today announced the release of Address Object for the Linux and Solaris operating systems. Previously only a Windows-based API, Address Object now functions across multiple platforms, allowing programmers and developers greater flexibility and extensibility for data hygiene applications. Address Object is a development tool used to verify addresses, in real-time or batch processes, by comparing the address submitted against the U.S. Postal Service(R) database of 145 million deliverable addresses."
September 2, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Federal employees should still be getting paid, even though a New Orleans office handles much of the government payroll, officials said Thursday. More than half a million federal employees are paid through the Agriculture Department's National Finance Center, which is now under water in New Orleans. "We don't have any information lost, and we'll be prepared to run operations from Philadelphia until we're able to get back to New Orleans," Agriculture Department spokesman Ed Loyd said. The center has about 1,500 employees who were evacuated to Philadelphia and Dallas. Loyd said the department will be giving them debit cards to help take care of immediate needs."
September 2, 2005 -- The Carthage Press has reported that "In some parts of rural Carthage, mailboxes made of stone and brick are being constructed as elaborate as some of the homes on the properties. And in most cases, the mailboxes are very close to the road and in county right-of-way. Whether an expression of creativity or a prevention from mailbox crashers, the mailboxes are in violation of Jasper County policy and U.S. Postal Service regulations."
September 2, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire:
Like many businesses with buildings damaged, destroyed, or isolated by the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina -- and workers cut off from their homes and their workplace -- the Postal Service is reaching out to reconnect with its employees through a toll-free number. First, to make sure the employee is safe; second, to establish contact for future communications. The toll-free number postal employees can call to notify the Postal Service of their current situation is 1-877-477-3273. This is the number for "PostalEase." Employees in a work location that is closed due to Hurricane Katrina will receive a prompt to connect with a USPS Call Center agent, who will collect the employee's information.
The U.S. Postal Service and the Social Security Administration have established temporary, alternative locations for the distribution of Social Security checks to Louisiana and Mississippi residents who are unable to receive regular mail delivery service. In addition, efforts are underway to establish a postal presence at the Houston Astrodome for evacuated Louisiana residents.
September 2, 2005 -- Ferret.com.au has reported that "VVisy has partnered with Australia Post to launch a two-bottle cardboard WINEpak for the safe distribution of wine throughout Australia Post’s national network. Visy Specialties and Australia Post developed the unique two-bottle WINEpak following the successful launch of the single-bottle WINEpak earlier this year. The solution provides an innovative and environmentally friendly alternative to polystyrene packaging."
September 1, 2005 -- In response to the destruction from Hurricane Katrina, The UPS Foundation is donating $1,250,000 toward relief efforts and UPS is taking separate steps to assist its employees and their families in the affected areas. The $1.25 million donation will include $500,000 in cash and up to $750,000 of in-kind services for the shipment of medical and health-related items. The funds will be divided between The American Red Cross, America's Second Harvest and other relief organizations that assist with long-term rebuilding activities.
September 1, 2005 -- In a letter to Senate Budget Committee chairman Judd Greg, the Director of the Congressional Budget Office said:
"Extrapolating from current information, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) finds that the overall effect of the bill on USPS’s total costs would be small—a reduction of roughly 1 percent over the next 25 years. Two provisions of the bill would ease the Postal Service’s budgetary pressures. One provision would shift from postal ratepayers to taxpayers the burden of paying for pension costs associated with the military service credits of certain postal employees. A second provision would relieve the agency of the requirement that it hold certain funds in escrow. However, CBO estimates that the savings from those provisions would be largely offset by a third provision—requiring USPS to switch to a system of recognizing and paying for the health care benefits of future retirees as those benefits are accrued by current employees—that would raise the agency’s costs. Should current trends continue, that third provision could dominate the bill’s effects in later years, yielding a net increase in the Postal Service’s total costs starting in 2028.
"Whether or not S. 662 is enacted into law, the Postal Service will face challenges in the years ahead in collecting enough revenues to cover its costs. The agency’s costs are on a trend to increase in real terms (in part because of rising costs for health care), whereas its revenues are threatened by increasing competition from e-mail and other forms of electronic communication. CBO estimates that if revenues were to grow at 1 percent less than the rate of inflation, costs over the 2026-2030 period would exceed revenues by as much as one-third—less, if lower mail volumes resulted in some cost savings. For USPS to continue paying its bills, any such gap would have to be closed through some combination of improvements in productivity, reductions in service, increases in postage rates (which in turn could result in further reductions in mail volume), and federal support."
September 1, 2005 -- From Business Wire: "Vicon Industries, Inc., a designer and producer of video surveillance systems, has announced that the United States Postal Service (USPS) had awarded Vicon a contract to be their exclusive National Direct Vendor for CCTV systems."
September 1, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Japan's state-run postal service, currently at the center of the nation's political agenda, said Thursday it has agreed with a major Japanese department store to acquire a controlling stake in the retailer's trucking unit. Under the agreement, Japan Post will buy 67.6 percent stake in the department operator Daimaru Inc.'s trucking unit Asocia Corp. at 650 million yen (US$5.9 million; euro4.8 million) after October. The move reflects Japan Post's bid to stay competitive as a comprehensive delivery firm amid privatization plans."
September 1, 2005 -- Ireland Online has reported that "The Communications Regulator turned down An Post's request for a price increase for the basic stamp this afternoon. However, the regulator recommended a hike in the postal cost of large envelopes and packages. Earlier this year, An Post called for an increase in the price of stamps because of the deterioration in its financial position, as well as increased costs. It wanted the basic stamp increased to from 48c to 60c, the price of posting a large envelope raised from 60c to 90c, and the cost of a package increased to €2. In a paper published this afternoon, Comreg said it felt the increase in the price of a basic stamp was not justified, but that it would recommend a rise in postal costs for larger envelopes and packages." See also RTE Interactive.
September 1, 2005 -- As the Associated Press has noted, "Going online to buy the latest bestseller or those photos from summer vacation may be tax free for most people today, but it won't last forever. Come this fall, 13 states will start encouraging — though not demanding — that online businesses collect sales taxes just as Main Street stores are required to do, and more states are considering joining the effort. Organizers of the states' effort, known as the Streamlined Sales Tax Project, sought to unify tax rules and definitions among the states. They hope to persuade federal lawmakers to pass a new law to overcome the Supreme Court ruling and allow states to take the next step — demanding online companies levy the taxes. The 13 states are Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Five that will be added in the next few years are Arkansas, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming."
September 1, 2005 -- Posted on this site from the U.S. Postal Service is "Temporary Logistics Changes Due to Hurricane Katrina." See also the latest Weather Mail Service Update. To get the latest from the U.S. Postal Service on mail service in Katrina-impacted areas, go to http://www.usps.com/communications/news/serviceupdates.htm.
September 1, 2005 -- The latest update from the Universal Postal Union Direct Mail Advisory Board has been posted on this site.
September 1, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
Strained public bureaucracies the world over are notoriously bad at dealing with what ought to be predictable peaks in demand. The irony is that the US – home to the most highly demanding service culture in the world – is now one of the few developed economies where politicians are busy entrenching the state’s dominance of the postal service rather than opening it up to competition that might help improve the customer experience. When Congress returns from its summer recess next week, senators are expected to finalise a reform bill for the USPS that does little to upset its quasi-governmental monopoly. In contrast, Junichiro Koizumi, Japan’s prime minister, put his political career on the line last month to drive through a controversial privatisation of the vast Japanese postal system. The European Commission has also mandated an aggressive liberalisation timetable for all its member states. The British postal regulator is moving faster still, bringing forward the full opening of the UK market by three years to January 2006 and ending a monopoly the Royal Mail has enjoyed for 350 years.
Shares in Exel jumped 14 per cent on Thursday as the UK logistics company said it had received an approach from Deutsche Post, Europe’s largest postal group. A deal would strengthen Deutsche Post’s position in the contract logistics business – where long-term agreements are made to handle the entire supply chain – where Exel is the world leader. DHL Solutions, Deutsche Post’s logistics arm, is only fifth largest, the smallest of all the main business of the German group. See also Bloomberg.
September 1, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "The Social Security Administration said Wednesday that it was developing plans to ensure thousands of displaced elderly and disabled residents will have access to their monthly checks. Those checks begin to go out Thursday and Friday. Mark Hinkle, a spokeswoman for the SSA, said the agency would continue to send monthly payments through the regular routes _ either by direct deposit or by mail."
September 1, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire:
"We are doing everything we can to restore mail delivery and we are trying to make sure employees are safe," said Postmaster General John E. (Jack) Potter. Part of those efforts includes working closely with the Social Security Administration to make checks available to displaced residents. The New Orleans Processing and Distribution Center suspended all operations at noon Sunday. No drop shipments will be accepted to New Orleans, ZIP Code areas 700-704 until further notice. Retail and delivery services have been suspended since Monday for all offices in ZIP Codes 700 and 701. Delivery in some 704 offices has been restored. Delivery is scheduled for most of ZIP Code 703, except for Grand Isle and Monegot. Near normal deliveries are scheduled for ZIP Codes 705-708."
Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all of the remaining outstanding shares of Firstlogic for approximately $50.3 million, excluding cash and debt on the balance sheet. Pitney Bowes currently has 10 percent equity ownership of this privately held company. Firstlogic develops and markets software and services that improve operations in data quality, mailing efficiency, and postal automation.
September 1, 2005 -- According to the National Association of Major Mail Users (NAMMU), "The Canadian mailing industry by many accounts is increasingly marginalized by the strategic and practical initiatives of their largest supplier, Canada Post Corporation. To achieve a more balanced, sustainable and profitable business model, NAMMU is focusing attention and awareness on three key business drivers: the rate setting process, incentives and cost accountability; meaningful consultation and win-win impact; fair business practices."
September 1, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service has announced that "Effective immediately, the Postal Service is not accepting any Standard Mail or Periodicals Mail – from any source – addressed for delivery within the following three-digit ZIP Code ranges: Mississippi – 369, 393, 394, 395, 396 Louisiana – 700, 701 This emergency action has been taken as a result of severe facility damage, evacuations, and other issues resulting from Hurricane Katrina."
September 1, 2005 -- As Traffic World has noted, "New Orleans is no longer a city on dry land below sea level. Water rushes over 80 percent of the city, flowing unimpeded by efforts to restrain it. Bridges across Lake Pontchartrain to the east of the city have been destroyed. Interstate 10, a major east-west artery, is covered in water and much of the bridge that once took it across the mouth of the lake is washed away. Both airports are under water, said Mayor Ray Nagin in a radio interview. The terminals at Port Fourchon and the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, which together handle more than 20 per cent of all the crude oil imported into the United States, remain closed. The entrance channel to Port Fourchon may be blocked by tons of sediment dumped by the hurricane, said director Ted Falgout in a CNBC interview. Pumps and levees have failed to protect the city from the most devastating hurricane since Camille in 1969."
September 1, 2005 -- icSurrey has reported that "RESIDENTS in Merstham are celebrating after winning the first battle in their campaign to put the village on the Post Office's map. Up until now, Royal Mail has refused to acknowledge Merstham as part of the postal address."