Association for Postal Commerce
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Postal News from January 2006:
January 31, 2006 -- According to the Rockford Register Star, "Postal officials agreed to reconsider studying whether to reroute mail service from Rockford, U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo said today in a news conference."
January 31, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "Pitney Bowes Inc. has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Emtex Ltd. for approximately US$41 million. Emtex's software and services allow large-volume mailers to simplify document production and centrally manage complex multi-vendor and multi-site print operations. Upon completion of this transaction, Emtex will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pitney Bowes within its Document Messaging Technologies division."
January 31, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that "Postal deliveries in Belfast have been disrupted after workers at Royal Mail's main delivery office in the city staged a walk-out."
January 31, 2006 -- AThe CWU delivered the dead body of the 346 years old Postal monopoly to Postcomm Headquarters on 30th January 2005. The monopoly came to an end on January 1st 2006 when the Government implemented a recommendation from Postcomm. Billy Hayes, CWU General Secretary presented a Rest In Peace card to Postcomm directors at their offices near Waterloo. "The monopoly didn't die, it was murdered," he said. The body was given a full ceremonial tribute complete with pallbearers and chief mourner, dressed in Victorian postal costumes.
January 31, 2006 -- National Association of Letter Carriers President William Young told his members that "Postal reform legislation was on the brink of Senate passage January 25 when postal management unleashed a mind-boggling, and frankly embarrassing, attack on the bill. As the bill headed to the floor for Senate approval, the Postal Service issued a series of press releases with false and misleading information about S. 662, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. The USPS action, accompanied by adverse public comments by American Postal Workers Union President William Burrus, quickly chilled the atmosphere."
January 31, 2006 -- Angus Reid has noted that "Many adults in Austria are aware of their government’s proposal to partially privatize the Austrian Post Office, according to a poll by OGM. 49 per cent of respondents believe the plan is a significant event, while 35 per cent disagree. The Austrian government is seeking to place 49 per cent of the Austrian Post Office in the stock market, with the remaining 51 per cent remaining in the hands of the government."
January 31, 2006 -- The Belleville News Democrat has reported that "Rep. Don Manzullo, aiming to deter the U.S. Postal Service from a move that he says would endanger the postmark of the largest city in his Illinois district, threatened Monday to hold congressional hearings if he does not prevail. Expected to join Manzullo were local union leaders and aides for the state's senators, Democrats Dick Durbin and Barack Obama, and staff of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Rep. Lane Evans, D-Ill. whose districts would have people affected by the plan under discussion."
January 31, 2006 -- In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Postal Service governmental affairs senior vice president Tom Day said:
January 31, 2006 -- The Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service has told its members:
January 31, 2006 -- GovExec.com has reported that "Sponsors of sweeping postal overhaul legislation are optimistic the Senate will approve the measure by unanimous consent in the coming days, said a spokesman for Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del. the bill's lead Democratic sponsor. Harkin's concerns about the Postal Service's proposal to consolidate a facility in western Iowa were assuaged when the bill's sponsors, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Carper, added language requiring the Postal Service to solicit public comment before making consolidation decisions. The provision would apply retroactively to the Iowa proposal, a Harkin spokeswoman said."
January 31, 2006 -- National Association of Postal Supervisors President Ted Keating said in a statement that "The Postal Service’s intent to kill postal reform, which has been increasingly apparent for months, has now become patently obvious. The USPS strategy last week basically came down to this: score a quick KO on postal reform by claiming that the Senate’s postal reform bill will cause postal rates to rise by at least twenty cents The Postal Service’s clever scheme, though, didn’t quite work out. Instead of bringing down the bill, USPS blew its cover, and those who were once its biggest allies on Capitol Hill were hit by USPS’ friendly fire."
January 31, 2006 -- Japan Times has reported that "Japan Post Corp. will recruit private-sector experts in financial and international parcel delivery services before the privatization of postal services begins in 2007, company officials said."
January 31, 2006 -- Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Nippon Express Co., Japan's largest transportation company, next month will become the first private service to deliver "certain letters and documents" nationwide, company sources said."
January 30, 2006 -- According to InformationWeek, "consumers use smart phones for online shopping, not buying."
January 30, 2006 -- According to NewsMax.com, "Microsoft is proposing an inexpensive technology to bring computing to the developing world – turning a cell phone into a computer by connecting it to a TV and a keyboard." That oughta do something for universal service.
January 30, 2006 -- The Federal Times has reported that "The Defense Department is starting to move forward on a plan to outsource its billion-dollar-plus mail operation, which would be one of the government’s biggest privatization projects in recent years. An influential advisory group concluded doing so would save money, improve mail service and free up troops badly needed for war-fighting."
January 30, 2006 -- According to the Guernsey Press and Star, "Roy Bisson wrote to 18 companies, including Healthspan, MX2 and flower exporters, claiming that the States was set to sacrifice the VAT postal concession and did not appreciate the full value of the sector. The letter worried the exporters but Commerce and Employment has given reassurance that there is no danger."
January 30, 2006 -- Inside Indiana Business has reported that "This week the United States Postal Service and the Postal Inspection Service are launching a national campaign to make people more aware of different types of fraud."
January 30, 2006 -- The Financial Express has reported that "The Universal Postal Union (UPU), a specialised body of UNO, is organising a 3 day workshop, from 1st to 3rd February 2006, in collaboration with Department of Posts, at New Delhi. The event will focus on Direct Mail (DM) industry in India. DM can be defined as printed matter usually carrying a sales message or announcement designed to elicit a response from a carefully selected consumer or business market."
January 30, 2006 -- According to Failure Magazine, "The next time you contemplate sending a letter without a return address, think again. Every year more than 100 million pieces of mail pour into the U.S. Post Office's Mail Recovery Centers (MRC), virtually all of them lacking a valid address and return address. The vast majority of this mail never gets delivered, although it's not for lack of effort. The postal service goes to great lengths, at its own expense, to try to find each piece of mail's intended destination."
January 30, 2006 -- Window Book, Inc. has announced the launch of the Your First Priority System™ (www.YourFirstPrioritySystem.com) an innovative and cost-effective shipping and fulfillment solution to mail lightweight items and documents. The solution is well suited to the shipping needs of many eBay® Auction and Yahoo Store® online sellers."
January 30, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that "An 8,000-name petition has been sent to Post Office managers against plans to close their main Dumfries branch."
January 30, 2006 -- After 2½ years of construction, UPS has opened a greatly expanded, more automated package sorting hub in Europe that will accommodate the shipping needs of its growing customer base for years to come.
January 30, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "The Post Office is launching its own directory inquiries service as it continues to expand the range of commercial services beyond its core postal business."
January 30, 2006 -- Al Bawaba has reported that "Empost, the UAE’s national courier company, has entered into a strategic partnership with Wall Street Exchange Centre, one of UAE’s biggest and oldest foreign exchange and money transfer companies. Empost will be the official courier service provider for Wall Street Exchange Centre. Empost offers a wide range of courier services that cater to specific segments of the society, such as Mandoub, Jawaz, EziPack, Ameel, Health Pack, LiteDox, EmDirect and EziMail. Empost has more than 65 stores in the UAE offering a comprehensive range of courier and postal services, including stationary, stamps and gifts."
January 30, 2006 -- WebIndia123 has reported that "Faced with stiff competition from courier companies, Kerala post will launch an early morning service, called 'Suprabhatam', in which mail will be delivered to people in the state capital as early as 8.30 a.m."
January 30, 2006 -- An update of the Mailers Council P.L. 108-18 escrow fact sheet has been posted on this site.
January 30, 2006 -- According to the Eldridge North Scott Press, "The shock has worn off, and McCausland residents are in combat mode this week after learning that the U. S. Postal Service (USPS) is planning to stamp out the town's post office. The offices of Senators Charles Grassley and Tom Harkin, as well as Congressman Jim Nussle, have been flooded with more than 500 letters."
January 30, 2006 -- DM News editor Tad Clarke wants to know: "What the blazes happened last week? I don’t know what officials at the U.S. Postal Service hoped to accomplish when they came out full throttle against postal reform legislation that the Senate was about to pass. If they wanted to completely and utterly alienate the lawmakers with direct oversight over their agency, then they succeeded. To say the least, bill sponsors Sens. Susan Collins and Thomas Carper are not pleased with the interference."
January 30, 2006 -- Chuck Muth, president of Citizen Outreach, said in a recent editorial that "a postal “reform” bill awaits congressional action when our representatives return from their extended winter recess (formerly known as Christmas Break) this week. And proving once again that politics makes strange bedfellow, I find myself on the same side as the post office in opposing the legislation - for entirely different reasons. The post office opposes the bill because it doesn’t loosen up the oversight USPS is subjected to. They want the freedom to set their own prices and run around loose without a leash, just like any other business. But they are NOT like any other business. And until/unless they give up their monopoly protections and benefits, they shouldn’t be treated as one. Which is why I don’t like the bill as drafted. Because this postal “reform” legislation does nothing to bring true, free-market reforms to mail delivery in the United States. There’s no provision for introducing competition to first-class mail delivery. And therefore, there’s no incentive for the local postal worker to unlock the doors 15 minutes after closing to provide first-class service to a paying customer. Absent such “reforms,” the bill is about as valuable as a 37-cent stamp."
January 30, 2006 -- Paul E. Evans, president of the Muskogee Area Local 007 of the American Postal Workers Union, wrote in the Muskogee Phoenix that "If the postal service was privatized, who and how many companies would be handling and delivering your mail to your home and business? Who and how many privatized post offices would suddenly appear around our city? Who would set the postal rate? Or would the privatized postal offices be at free will to set their own rate? If you were expecting a letter and had not received it, which of the many privatized postal offices would you call first?"
January 30, 2006 -- Investors Business Daily has reported that "UPS (UPS) has launched UPS Mail LogicSM, a new international mail service that allows customers to streamline their mail operations by relying on UPS's package delivery expertise. With UPS Mail Logic, businesses can simply gather their international letters, flats or packets into one parcel - no sorting by destination, metering or stamping necessary. Customers arrange for UPS pick-up along with any other small packages ready for delivery. UPS then transports the international mail to well-respected postal service entities that sort and ship the mail to the destination postal authority or other licensed party for final delivery.
January 30, 2006 -- AzerTaj has reported that "In accordance with the recently signed agreement with Azerbaijan Government, World Bank endorsed $12.25 million for development of the postal system of Azerbaijan. This money will be spent on complete modernization of the postal system of Azerbaijan. Postal offices are believed to provide banking, Internet and information services to the population and carry out money order, payment and other financial operations."
January 30, 2006 -- FederalNewsRadio's Mike Causey has claimed that "As Americans become increasingly mobile, moving from state-to-state, and as the population mix becomes more diverse, some people suffer from an identify crises. The result: We owe our allegiance not to a race, religion or region, but to our Zip Code. Postmarks and Zip Codes zip codes and postmarks are important and have a definite meaning for many folks. The American Postal Workers Union is using our affair with Postmarks and Zip Codes to fight proposed consolidations."
January 30, 2006 -- According to WCCO-TV, "Stamps.com is best known for selling postage stamps that you can decorate with your own pictures. The service may soon allow businesses to create their own personalized postage."
January 30, 2006 -- Jiji Press has reported that "Major Japanese transport firm Nippon Express Co. and shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. will participate in a cargo joint venture to be set up by Japan Post and All Nippon Airways."
January 30, 2006 -- The Times has reported that "ROYAL MAIL is to begin a fresh round of cost-cutting that unions fear may trigger 40,000 job losses and a huge switch from full-time to part-time work. The move comes as senior government sources have also disclosed that Royal Mail has yet to make a formal detailed request for financial help, despite calling publicly for £2 billion." See also The Scotsman.
January 29, 2006 -- Japan Post will examine all 188,458 mailboxes across the country in response to complaints that they are inconvenient to use, with slots facing the road and unclear pickup times displayed, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.
January 29, 2006 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Economic growth slowed to its most sluggish pace in three years at the end of last year as consumers and businesses applied the brakes to spending. While a rebound is likely in the current quarter, the expansion after two brisk years appears to be moderating as higher energy prices and interest rates begin to bite. The principal cause was a slowdown in growth of consumer spending to a four-year low of 1.1%."
January 29, 2006 -- The Independent has reported that "The new chief executive of Business Post has started 2006 like his predecessor saw out 2005: with a profit warning that sent shares in the parcels delivery group sharply lower. Six weeks into his tenure, Guy Buswell, who was promoted after the board ousted Paul Carvell, admitted the group would miss profit forecasts for the year to April. It was the fourth time Business Post has warned on profits in 12 months and the second since November. Shares in the group slumped 14 per cent to 352p after it said profits would be 40 per cent lower than analysts had pencilled in at around pounds 9m.
January 29, 2006 -- From the PostalNews.com weblog: "Another day, another news story about rescuing an endangered postmark: “Local union leaders and Rep. Don Manzullo are heading into a meeting with top postal officials Tuesday in Washington, determined that Rockford will keep its postmark.” The story in today’s Rockford, Illinois Register-Star is similar to recent stories from Olympia Washington, and Sioux City, Iowa. In each case, as with all of the possible plant consolidations being discussed, there are real issues about productivity, jobs and service. But what is it about postmarks? Why is Tom Harkin worried about “the elimination of the 150 year old postmark of this proud and vibrant city”? Why is the state of Washington concerned about letters from the state capital being postmarked ‘Olympia/Tacoma’ instead of ‘Olympia’?...Lets get over the concern about postmarks, and start talking about the real issues!"
January 29, 2006 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Within the next two weeks, the White House and Congress will start setting priorities, and federal employees will have a stake in how some play out. Administration officials plan to renew a push for changes in the government-wide pay system. The plan would abolish the General Schedule by 2010 and move federal employees into more rigorous systems that would link pay raises to job performance. Congress probably will also revisit efforts by the Bush administration to contract out federal work, which has been stoutly opposed by federal unions."
January 29, 2006 -- Timothy Freeman, President of the Printing and Imaging Association, in a letter to the editor of the Elmira Star-Gazette, wrote: "Last July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the bill by a sweeping, nonpartisan 410-20 vote, but a similar bill is stuck in the U.S. Senate. Without a Senate vote on bill S.662, there is no hope for a legislative solution to the future postal rate increases faced by consumers and businesses. Therefore, I urge my fellow citizens to call or write our U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton to urge them to vote yes on S.662 as soon as possible, giving us all a chance to put those two pennies back in our respective piggy banks."
January 28, 2006 -- CBS News has noted that "Citibank, HSBC, Bank of America, and other banks are seeking a piece of the $100 billion immigrants send home each year. Advanced electronic systems and widespread distribution networks — a product of mergers with banks in other countries — have enabled banks in the United States to provide money transfers for lower fees. Remittance fees average about 8 percent of the amount transferred, according to the Inter-American Development Bank. By charging less than the competition, banks are gaining in popularity among immigrants. According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on remittances published in November, banks charged just $8.80 on a $300 remittance to Mexico, whereas the U.S. Postal Service charged $10, and money-transfer operator Western Union charged $10.70. Delgado Travel, which offers to pay out in U.S. dollars instead of pesos, thereby avoiding any negative exchange-rate fluctuations, typically charges $12. Despite the price disparity, wire-transfer companies still control 70 percent of the remittance market, which gives them a $4.2 billion slice of an estimated $6 billion in annual transactions fees. Western Union made $1.3 billion from money transfers alone in 2004."
January 28, 2006 -- The Sioux City Journal has reported that "While on the Senate floor Friday, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin successfully included language in the Postal Reform Bill that would force the U.S. Postal Service to review the concerns of businesses and communities affected by mail facilities consolidations, a Harkin aide said. Friday's language falls on the heels of a Siouxland delegation that traveled to Washington D.C., to meet with Harkin, D-Iowa, U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Bill Galligan, senior vice president of operations for the Postal Service."
January 28, 2006 -- ThisIsStaffordshire has reported that "Royal Mail announced today it is seeking voluntary redundancies as part of a cost-cutting exercise. Around 100 call centre workers at Festival Park have been sent letters asking for people to volunteer for the cuts. The company is looking to make 40 people redundant across the UK's nine contact centres, which employ 2,000 people in total."
January 28, 2006 -- Les Echos has reported that "Banque Postale, the French postal bank, is expected to experience difficulty holding on to its financial advisers, as competitors are keen to lure them away."
January 28, 2006 -- The Los Angeles Times has reported that "With Southern California residents continuing to complain about mail that is delivered late at night or not at all, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles) wants the nation's postmaster general to provide extensive data about staffing levels, plant closures and delivery schedules. Waxman is expected to make more than a dozen requests Monday for information from John E. Potter, the postmaster general. Among other items, Waxman wants to know what percentage of mail in the Los Angeles area is delivered after 5 p.m. He also plans to ask for data on staffing levels over the last three years, copies of customer complaint logs and any analyses of cost savings related to plant closings. And he will request information about what effect plant closings have had on the transportation of mail in the region."
January 28, 2006 -- The Dallas-Ft. Worth Star Telegram has noted that "Sometimes postal carriers deliver mail to Historic Carver Heights in the afternoon. Sometimes they deliver at night. Sometimes, they just take the day off, residents say. When they do deliver the mail, the residents say, they often deliver it to the wrong address. So residents are becoming pretty good postal carriers."
January 28, 2006 -- The Colorado Springs Gazette has noted that "Dona Chon just wanted to get her mail when she moved into a westside cottage at 6½ N. 24th St. Instead, she stumbled into a littleknown U.S. Postal Service plan to turn the halves into halve-nots in Colorado Springs."
January 28, 2006 -- The Rockford Register Star has reported that "Local union leaders and Rep. Don Manzullo are heading into a meeting with top postal officials Tuesday in Washington, determined that Rockford will keep its postmark."
January 28, 2006 -- CBS4.com has reported that "CORAL SPRINGS For the past three years a Coral Springs neighborhood has had a recurring problem: They get other people’s mail. Dozens of pieces of mail reach the homes of residents of this neighborhood at the Tuscany at Heron Bay development everyday. Despite calls to the US Postal Service, they say nothing is being done. What is more disturbing is that the mail they get includes confidential documents such as bank statements and credit card bills- creating an ID theft hazard. Residents have also complained that they are not getting their own mail."
January 28, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
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January 28, 2006 -- The Congressional Research Service has released its latest updates regarding the Postal Service:
January 28, 2006 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site. (Be sure to see NAPUS' comments on the hole the USPS has dug for itself on Capitol Hill.)
January 28, 2006 -- Cox Target Media, mailer of the familiar blue Valpak® envelopes, the nation’s largest mailer of saturation letters, has joined the Postal Service in opposition to S.662, the so-called “postal reform” bill.
January 28, 2006 -- According to the National Association of Postal Supervisors President, "The Postal Service’s motive to kill postal reform, which has been increasingly apparent for months, became patently obvious this week. The USPS strategy: score a quick KO on postal reform by suggesting that the Senate’s postal reform bill – poised for approval any time now – will cause postal rates to rise by at least twenty cents and blow the roof off. The Postal Service’s clever scheme, though, didn’t quite work out. Instead of bringing down the bill, USPS blew its cover, and those who were once its biggest allies on Capitol Hill were hit by USPS’ friendly fire."
January 28, 2006 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service wants to convert its automated forms into intelligent documents that can validate data, perform calculations and accept digital signatures. A new solicitation posted on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site asks vendors to submit proposals for converting USPS’ old forms and developing new ones using Adobe LiveCycle Designer. USPS has a library of 752 forms in Adobe PDF format and 138 automated forms created with Adobe Form Client Version 5.0 software. Forms converted with LiveCycle Designer can be rendered as Adobe PDF files or HTML documents and be digitally signed."
January 28, 2006 -- Air Cargo World has noted that "TNT Freight Management, the international air and ocean logistics unit of TNT Logistics, joined Cargo 2000, the International Air Transport Association interest group focused on electronically streamlining the air freight delivery process."
January 27, 2006 -- WJBD Radio has reported that "Congressmen John Shimkus and Jerry Costello have sent a joint letter to the US Postal Service regarding the possible "consolidation" of the Centralia and Carbondale mail processing center into the St. Louis distribution center. The letter states the congressmen have discussed a possible consolidation and have determined it would have a negative impact on Southern Illinois. Shimkus says even though the Postal Service operates independently of the federal government, Congress must express displeasure when it makes proposals that will harm the region."
January 27, 2006 -- The Rockville Register Star has reported that "Congressman Don Manzullo, R-Egan, and two postal union representatives from Rockford will meet with top officials from the United States Postal Service in Washington, D.C. Tuesday to challenge a plan to reroute mail from northern and northwest Illinois through Palatine instead of Rockford."
January 27, 2006 -- The Albuquerque Journal has reported that "New Mexico's Postal Service is getting an earful this week from telephone hot line callers complaining about after-dark mail delivery and mail delays, a post office spokeswoman said Thursday. Albuquerque's customer service phones were averaging about 100 calls a day between Monday and Wednesday, said Margaret Romero, an Albuquerque postal manager. Santa Fe's postal service was getting 70 to 80 calls a day, and Las Cruces about 36 calls."
January 27, 2006 -- The Central Kentucky News Journal has reported that "As the U.S. Postal Service continues to mull over shutting down Elizabethtown's mail sorting facility, postal officials are debating the impact the closure could have on areas carrying the 427 zip code prefix."
January 27, 2006 -- The Santa Fe New Mexican has reported that "Santa Fe has trouble attracting and keeping postal employees because of the city’s high cost of living, and that has contributed to the city’s recent postal-delivery problems. That’s according to U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, D-N .M., who met Thursday with U.S. Postal Service officials in Albuquerque to discuss recent postal complaints. The officials told Udall it is difficult to recruit people to work in Santa Fe because of the high cost of living, he said."
January 27, 2006 -- From BusinessWire: "--FreshAddress, Inc., a leading email database services provider, released the results of its study "Email Address Validation Survey of Fifty Top Retail Web Sites." The sobering results show none of the tested websites successfully blocked the most common email address registration errors, thus allowing typos and undeliverable email addresses into their databases. The average cost to each of these retailers is $6.7 million dollars annually in lost sales. Further details and a copy of the Real-Time Email Validation study can be found at www.freshaddress.com/biz."
January 27, 2006 -- As GovExec.com has noted, "A sweeping postal overhaul bill that Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., had hoped to see approved by unanimous consent this week has been stalled after a handful of senators expressed concerns about the bill's budget impact and other provisions."
January 27, 2006 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Royal Mail is appealing against a High Court decision that it should pay up to £40m in compensation to business customers for missing service targets."
January 27, 2006 -- As Bloomberg has noted, "Business Post Group Plc, a U.K. postal delivery service, said for the third time in five months that profit for the financial year will fall short of analysts' estimates as a focus on bigger clients fails to pay off."
January 27, 2006 -- KTRE-TV has reported that "The postal service honored an East Texas grocery store Friday for its response during Hurricane Rita. After the storm, the post office quickly resumed mail service in damaged neighborhoods thanks to Brookshire Brothers. Even though Rita temporarily shut down dozens of stores, Brookshire's provided ice, water, and quick access to fuel for mail trucks."
January 27, 2006 -- The Contra Costa Times has reported that "In a dark corner of a warehouse on San Francisco's industrial Pier 96 an oddly foreboding 17-foot tree has taken root. Conceived by installation artist Dio Mendoza, the tree stands as a testament to one of modern life's most persistent irritations - junk mail. Scraggly and imposing, the once-was pine is built entirely of unsolicited "direct mail" advertising Mendoza collected over the course of about three weeks from just one of his San Jose neighbors. "Let's face it, we're a gluttonous society," he said at a news conference Thursday. "We consume a lot." The tree rises at Norcal Waste Systems' cacophonous Recycling Central, where 600 tons of bottles, cans and paper products leave for new lives every day. The tree drew a small contingent of reporters and photographers to the kickoff of a Bay Area anti-junk-mail campaign."
January 27, 2006 -- The Mailers Council has reported that "the Postal Service has identified following postal facilities for consolidation or for an Area Mail Processing study to evaluate them as potential targets for consolidation: (1)Alamogordo, NM Post Office into EL Paso, TX P&DC; (2) McAllen, TX Post Office into Corpus Christi, TX P&DF; (3) Waco, TX P&DF into both Fort Worth, TX P&DC and Austin, TX P&DC; (4) Bryan, TX Post Office into Houston, TX P&DC; (5) Cumberland, MD Main Post Office into Frederick, MD P&DF; (6) Batesville (AR) Post Office into Little Rock (AR) P&DC.
January 27, 2006 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
Business Mailer's Review is an award-winning, independent biweekly newsletter covering issues of importance to the business mailer. It is regularly cited as among the best sources of postal information. For subscription information, check the BMR web site.
January 27, 2006 -- According to the Sioux City Journal, "Meeting with federal lawmakers and a top U.S. Postal Service official Thursday, local leaders learned they likely would have a chance to respond to a postal study that threatens to close Sioux City's mail processing center. Besides costing Sioux City up to 100 jobs and its 150-year-old postmark, local leaders fear the change would delay mail delivery and increase costs for some businesses. U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, arranged for the local delegation to meet Thursday with the USPS' Galligan. Fifth District Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, also attended, and Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ben Nelson, D-Neb., sent staffers."
January 27, 2006 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. posted a 21% increase in fourth-quarter profit, fueled by a robust holiday shipping season that capped what it called a "remarkably strong" year for the economy and a continuing boom in non-U.S. shipments. But some investors wanted even more, pushing UPS shares lower. UPS said it gained some shipments from customers who defected from the DHL unit of Deutsche Post AG, which suffered mechanical breakdowns and other problems at its Wilmington, Ohio, air hub, causing its on-time performance to plunge in September. DHL has said its reliability has rebounded since then."
January 27, 2006 -- The Hartford Courant has reported that "The president and owner of an East Windsor company involved in the direct mail business has been accused of defrauding clients by dumping bulk mailings at recycling centers instead of shipping them to the U.S. Postal Service for delivery as promised. U.S. Attorney Kevin J. O'Connor said a federal grand jury has indicted Thomas J. Rueli, 47, of Springfield, and his company, Total Logistic Services Inc., on 14 counts of mail fraud."
January 27, 2006 -- The Slovak Spectator has reported that "THE SLOVAK Post Office, Slovenská pošta (SP), will begin offering a package of electronic services to its clients in July this year. The initial package of e-services should include the electronic administration of packages, payment of checks through the Internet, and hybrid mail, which means that people can write letters or postcards on their computers and SP will print them and forward to the addressees. Among other services, clients will also be able to reserve a P.O. Box through the Internet."
January 27, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "Business Post Group warned on Friday that annual underlying profit would miss forecasts after the company failed to improve margins at its parcel services unit, sending its shares down as much as 19 percent."
January 27, 2006 -- Dow Jones has reported that:
January 27, 2006 -- Mailers Council executive director Robert McLean has told his members that:
See also the Postal Service's side of the story in what's been distributed to postal employees.
January 27, 2006 -- Leaders of the two major unions representing the nation’s 330,000 active city and rural letter carriers issued a joint statement today urging Senate passage of postal reform legislation. Following is the statement by William H. Young, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers (AFL-CIO), and Donnie Pitts, president of the National Rural Letter Carriers Association: “On behalf of 330,000 active postal employees who deliver mail on city and rural routes across America, we urge the United State Senate to swiftly pass S. 662, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. The NALC and the NRLCA believe this long-overdue legislation will ensure the strength and viability of the U.S. Postal Service for decades to come.”
January 27, 2006 -- The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognized the U.S. Postal Service facility in Huron, S.D., for excellence in their employee safety and health program at a ceremony Jan. 24. The mail processing and distribution facility was designated a VPP "Star" site, the highest level of recognition that OSHA's Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) offer. To qualify, a site must meet all the safety and health program elements for the VPP program, which far exceed minimum OSHA standards.
January 26, 2006 -- The Kildare Nationalist has reported that "IRELAND East MEP Mairéad McGuinness has welcomed comments made by the EU internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy that he is conscious of the need to provide a service to rural dwellers, in the framing of plans to liberalise postal services in the EU."
January 26, 2006 -- The Free New Mexican has reported that "Two postal managers who the U.S. Postal Service said were replaced after statewide complaints about mail delivery say they had asked to be transferred for personal reasons. The two former New Mexico managers also contradicted a Postal Service spokeswoman’s statement that they had received promotions. Paul Nistler, former manager of the U.S. Postal Service mail-processing plant in Albuquerque, said in an e-mail that he asked to be transferred to Milwaukee, Wis., because his parents are aging and his father has cancer. And Steve Harden, former customer-relations manager in Albuquerque, said in a telephone interview that he left Albuquerque four months ago because his father died and he wanted to be closer to his aging mother in the Midwest. Harden would not specify where he works now. Nistler and Harden’s statements contradict those of U.S. Postal Service officials in the past week."
January 26, 2006 -- Led by a strong 21.5% gain in worldwide revenue, UPS today reported net income of $1.05 billion and a 25% increase in diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter.
January 26, 2006 -- Actually, the hold placed on S. 662 was by Sen. Sessions (R-AL) born, ostensibly, from the concerns expressed by the Board of Governors of the Postal Service, not Sen. Harkin as was previously reported.
January 26, 2006 -- According to Direct, "Mailer groups were generally pleased at reports the Senate postal reform bill S. 662 was finally going to move forward after months of delay."
January 26, 2006 -- More on the fireworks regarding postal reform from GovExec.com.
January 26, 2006 -- American Postal Workers Union President William Burrus has told his members that "While APWU believes that release of approximately $3 billion from an escrow account and the transfer of responsibility for military retirement expenses are positive provisions of the pending bill (S. 662), they are outweighed by other stipulations, including proposals that would give excessive authority to a Postal Regulatory Board and that would reduce Workers’ Compensation benefits. The intent of postal reform supporters has been to control costs at the expense of service to the American public. The major mailers are unconvinced that postal management will take the steps necessary to reduce costs — including labor costs — without outside intervention. Legislation was thus written to remove from postal management responsibility for the core decisions involved in operating the postal system."
January 26, 2006 -- The Postal Service apparently pulled out all stops to prevent S. 662 from passage by telling its employees why the Board of Governors was opposing the bill. As the Washington Post has noted, "The bill's sponsors, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), said they were "outraged that the Postal Service would mislead senators." In a statement, they said, "Nothing in the bill would lead to rate increases. Collins and Carper said, "We are extremely troubled and disappointed that at the very last minute, the Postal Service is attempting to block action on our bill." They added, "It is ironic that the Postal Service -- which has been forced to raise rates four times in five years because of its inability to control its costs and respond to the new economic landscape -- is accusing us of putting the health of the postal system at risk."
January 26, 2006 -- The Whittier Daily News has asked: "IS there anything more revered or reviled than the post office? Revered, because we depend on their ability to handle millions of pieces of mail daily, a formidable task by any yardstick. Besides, how can you dislike the guys who sponsored Lance Armstrong? But reviled because they continue to boost rates at the same time they provide a level of service that might be politely considered Third World...and getting worse. Late and misdelivered mail, once an occasional problem, is now becoming commonplace. The chorus of complaints is becoming ear splitting."
January 26, 2006 -- The Muskegee Phoenix has concluded: "Let’s privatize postal service. It should have happened long ago in the United States. Other countries have done it with success. In New Zealand, prices went down, and in Australia, on-time delivery went up, according to reports."
January 26, 2006 -- DM News has reported that "Missouri is the latest state to introduce a do-not-mail bill, joining New York and Illinois. Missouri's bill, HB1531, sponsored by state Rep. Trent Skaggs, was reintroduced yesterday. It would set up a registry at the Missouri attorney general's office for people who wish not to receive commercial mail. A similar bill, HB834, died during the last session."
January 26, 2006 -- Panatagraph.com has told its readers that "The state would be wasting its time and our money attempting to ban junk mail. The broad, overreaching law proposed by two state representatives tosses out the good with the bad, while not addressing the real problem."
January 26, 2006 -- Peter Moore Software has introduced the 3541 Generator XP. The 3541 Generator XP is a Windows-based program that allows a user to simply create USPS 3541 postage statements from keyed input. It maintains a database of jobs, publications, and related statements for historical purposes, as well as to ease the burden of data entry on repetitive jobs, such as are common in the world of Periodical mailings. This easy to use program permits the user to create simple mailing jobs consisting of a single statement for one publication, or to create complex mailing jobs comprised of multiple publications, multiple versions, and multiple entries. The program sells for $245, with a guaranty of satisfaction, and is available immediately. Please contact: Peter Moore Software, Inc 6019 Brigadoon Dr Niwot, CO 80503-8832 (303) 641-6000 E-mail: PJM@PeterMoore.com
January 25, 2006 -- Think things are all hunky-dory in the field? Think again. Here's an excerpt from a recent communication from the President of the National League of Postmasters that came "over the transom."
January 25, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "A senior U.S. Postal Service official warned today that passage of pending postal reform legislation, when coupled with the Bush Administration demands on military retirement costs, could increase stamp prices by as much as 20 percent in the near future. "Under current law, the Postal Service has managed to keep the cost of postage below the rate of inflation," said Tom Day, Senior Vice President for Government Relations. "But this bill not only strips the Postal Service of much of its management authority but almost guarantees a hefty rate increase." Day said that should final legislation require the Postal Service to pre- fund retiree health benefits and retain a $27 billion obligation to fund military retirement benefits for its employees, postage rates could increase by up to 20 percent. That would be in addition to any rate increase necessary to fund postal operating costs. The postage rate increase that was effective on Jan. 8 was implemented solely to generate the $3.1 billion necessary to fund an escrow account resulting from 2003 legislation."
January 25, 2006 -- The National League of Postmasters has told its members that "The LEAGUE expects that the Senate will act quickly later today, January 25, 2006, on S. 662, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. This follows an agreement reached by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), chairman of the Senate committee for this bill, and Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) who had placed a hold on the legislation for the last six months in regard to the "fair and equitable" provision."
January 25, 2006 -- As the Associated Press has noted, "After more than a year of seeking legislation to update how the post office is run, postal management said Wednesday both the House and Senate bills should be scrapped and the whole process started over. Failure to win approval of provisions opposed by the Bush administration could lead to as much as a 20 percent increase in postage rates, postal officials said."
January 25, 2006 -- As the Federal Times has noted, 'The U.S. Postal Service’s penchant for experimenting with new products and services without the benefit of oversight from an outside body appears to have been severely curtailed by a Postal Rate Commission ruling. The commission, in a decision posted Jan. 4 under Daily Listings on its Web site, www.prc.gov, redefined what is a “postal service” in such a way as to include numerous recent Postal Service initiatives, thus underscoring the commission’s contention that it can define what a “postal service” is and its contention that it has the authority to approve — or not approve — many USPS initiatives."
January 25, 2006 -- From PR Newswire: "MicroStrategy® Incorporated, a leading worldwide provider of business intelligence software, today announced that it has selected Robert Otto, CIO/CTO of the U.S. Postal Service, as the recipient of MicroStrategy's Individual Excellence in Business Intelligence award. Mr. Otto was recognized today at MicroStrategy World 2006 in Miami, Florida."
January 25, 2006 -- According to SearchDataManagement.com, "The USPS reported that it spent $1.8 billion dollars processing undeliverable as addressed mail in 2001. The main culprit was incorrect and outdated addresses on business-to-consumer mail. Since this kind of mail accounted for 80% of the mail stream last year, the USPS is working with companies to clean up corporate mailing lists. Their goal is to reduce undeliverable as addressed mail by 50% by 2010, and they hope to achieve this through new USPS technology, education and policy change. Even companies that don't do a lot of mailing could potentially get help with their data quality initiatives."
January 25, 2006 -- According to Business Day, "Customers benefit from sales force automation United Parcel Service works with its largest accounts to negotiate service agreements at a corporate level."
January 25, 2006 -- Forbes has reported that "The European Commission said it is examining a complaint made by several newspaper suppliers over alleged state aid earmarked by the government for a new distribution system set up by Belgium's postal service."
January 25, 2006 -- According to Political Affairs magazine (self-styled as the Marxist thought online), "UNI global union plans to enroll 900 unions world-wide into a programme to force big corporations to improve their behaviour. The aim is to sign up multinationals to observe labour and other rights wherever they operate in the world. UNI has just become a stakeholder in UN agency the Universal Postal Union and talks are well advanced on an Understanding that would promote social dialogue between postal employers and unions worldwide and give greater transparency in the world trade round on services (GATS) which includes postal and courier services."
January 25, 2006 -- Dow Jones has reported that:
Goldman Sachs, Erste Bank AG, and Raiffeisen Centrobank AG have received a mandate to act as advisers for the initial public offering of Austria's postal operator, Oesterreichische Post AG.
January 25, 2006 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Yoshifumi Nishikawa, head of a new company set up to organize the privatization of Japan Post, said he would lobby the government to remove its 10-million-yen cap on postal deposits."
January 25, 2006 -- According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "To draw in new customers or drum up business with established ones, a small business can't afford to overlook direct-mail marketing. It can be affordable, highly targeted and fairly easy to do."
January 25, 2006 -- As Mike Causey has noted in the Washington Times, "As more companies go belly up, convince employees to take pay cuts and/or eliminate pension plans, 401(k) plan contributions and health insurance, the government -- for all its warts -- looks like a very good place to work to a lot of people."
January 25, 2006 -- The Arkansas News has reported that "William Henderson will stay on as a board member at Acxiom Corp. after he was named the new chief operations officer at the world's largest movie rental service."
January 25, 2006 -- According to the Edinburgh Evening News, "ROYAL Mail chiefs have been urged to crack down on postal workers littering Edinburgh's streets with red rubber bands. The problem has become so bad that city council leader Donald Anderson has issued a warning to Royal Mail bosses that the litter louts are putting the city's clean reputation at risk." See also The Scotsman.
January 25, 2006 -- According to the Outer Banks Sentinel, "Stumpy Point residents have been informed by a letter from the U.S. Postal Service that their post office will be closing due to the cost-prohibitive nature of paying a lease and utilities on a building that now boast only six rented postal boxes."
The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in Europe, 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.
January 25, 2006 -- Government Computer News has reported that "After nearly five years of defending FirstGov.gov’s search engine prowess against constant criticism, General Services Administration officials believe they have an engine that will quiet detractors. Users of FirstGov.gov now can search about 40 million federal, state and local government pages, as well as tribal and other government Web sites."
January 25, 2006 -- The latest issue of eView (National Association of Major Mail Users) lists a number of personnel changes at Canada Post.
January 25, 2006 -- The Governors of the U.S. Postal Service have told Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) that they oppose Senate passage of S. 662. See also the USPS press release.
January 25, 2006 -- According to SocialistWorker.com, "Royal Mail management is making an outrageous attack on postal workers’ right to strike. It requires a national response."
January 24, 2006 -- According to the Henrico Citizen, "Henrico County continues to lose between $5 million and $7 million each year in tax revenue because of a postal identity problem that has some county officials frustrated with the U.S. Postal Service. Because much of Henrico County is identified as "Richmond" by postal mailing addresses, some businesses (primarily those with out-of-state headquarters) mistakenly pay their taxes to the city instead of Henrico. U.S. Congressman Eric Cantor, whose Seventh District includes much of Henrico, has been working with Postal Service officials to seek a resolution to the issue, but talks so far have not resulted in anything definite, Robinson said."
January 24, 2006 -- From BusinessWire: "Western Union, a worldwide leader in money transfer services, announced that its subsidiary Western Union MT East has entered into an agreement with Russian national postal operator Federal State Unitary Enterprise, known as "Russian Post," to provide international money transfer services. Russian Post has one of the largest branch networks in Russia comprising more than 40,000 outlets. Through this agreement, Western Union Money Transfer(R) Services will be available in up to 2,500 post office outlets across Russia serving both rural and urban populations."
January 24, 2006 -- Postmaster General Jack Potter is participating at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Attending also are representatives from UPS, DHL, and Pitney Bowes.
January 24, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "Stamps.com(R), a leading provider of Internet-based postage services, applauds and thanks President Bush and Congress for amending a century-old law that clears the way for the U.S. Postal Service to allow businesses to use PhotoStamps(R). In particular, Stamps.com wishes to thank Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA), who championed the legislative initiative and was instrumental in Stamps.com's efforts to pass this amendment."
January 24, 2006 -- The Free New Mexican has noted that "The U.S. Postal Service has set up hot lines in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Las Cruces to address recent complaints about its service."
January 24, 2006 -- Here's one from the geeks at CNET: "What do you call mail via the Postal Service? A real slow download."
January 24, 2006 -- The Communication Workers Union has announced that "All individual members employed within Royal Mail are today receiving a pamphlet on the Royal Mail letters strategy and the CWU’s vision and aims for the future. The pamphlet tells members of Royal Mail’s plans, but most importantly, sets out the way the union intends to shape the future of jobs within the industry. The pamphlet also sets out the union’s pay strategy for 2006 and beyond. The union is measuring the success of its future pay strategy by comparing Royal Mail workers’ pay against the UK national average. Postal Workers’ pay currently lags £80 per week behind the national average. The full pamphlet can be downloaded from the following link: CWU The Whole Story Pamphlet."
January 24, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that:
January 24, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "UPS's global trade technology has been selected to showcase customs compliance this week at an annual conference of the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI)."
January 24, 2006 -- The San Diego Union Tribune has reported that "After a barrage of complaints about late mail delivery, Southern California postal officials issued a directive Friday telling carriers and post office managers that mail must be delivered no later than 6 p.m. The directive apparently offered few specific recommendations about how to speed up deliveries, other than to instruct managers to divvy up the workload so carriers aren't given more mail than they can deliver in their regular shifts."
January 24, 2006 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Emirates Post Corporation today announced record net profit of Dhs. 133 million for the year 2005, an increase of 6 per cent over the previous year."
January 24, 2006 -- The Washington Post has reported that:
January 24, 2006 -- The Aberdeen News has reported that "A proposal to sort more of Aberdeen's mail in Huron could result in job losses and longer shipping times for businesses, union and other officials said. No decisions have been made, but the idea is included in a study of how to make mail processing more efficient in the area. Union officials estimate the Aberdeen post office could lose between 12 and 20 jobs under a plan to send more mail through the automated mail-processing center in Huron. The Aberdeen office currently employs 89. Officials also fear Aberdeen could lose its postmark."
January 24, 2006 -- NewIndPress has reported that "Postal union leaders strongly condemned the alleged move to privatise the postal department and vowed to fight it tooth and nail. National Postal Employees Union, Karnataka zone president P Wilson, claimed that the Union government on the one hand was helping private courier services to expand their activities, whereas the postal department was discouraged in all aspects."
January 24, 2006 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "Posta Uganda is locked in wrangles with domestic and international courier firms over what they call infringement on their reserved areas of operation. The General Manager of Posta Uganda, Mr David Kitongo at the launch of their website recently, said that private courier companies are now offering services like letter posting, a service reserved for Posta Uganda under the Communications Act 1997. He also blamed the industry's regulator, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) for failing to implement the act."
January 24, 2006 -- According to the Malibu Times, Malibu is experiencing late mail deliveries. Mail sorting operations for western Los Angeles County have been moved from a postal sorting facility near Marina del Rey to a large facility at Central and Vernon avenues in South Los Angeles. As a result, trucks bound for Malibu are getting stuck on the Santa Monica Freeway, and arriving later each morning, letter carriers said.
January 24, 2006 -- According to MSNBC, "Businesses eyeing China stand to benefit from UPS Worldport hub's presence."
January 24, 2006 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Preparations for postal privatization scheduled for October 2007 got under way Monday as Japan Post Corp. began operations under President Yoshifumi Nishikawa, a veteran banker."
January 23, 2006 -- The agenda for the February 21-23 meeting of the Postmaster General's Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) has been posted on this site.
January 23, 2006 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that "Members of the Postal Rate Commission said they hoped that their new ruling on the definition of the term "postal service" would make it easier for the commission to settle complaints that the U.S. Postal Service competes unfairly when offering new services. But the commission's final rule might not be the last word. USPS officials argued during the rule-making process that the rate commission was overstepping its authority by issuing such a rule. In the rule's broad definition of postal service, which includes electronic services, the commission claims authority to approve or disallow such services and to regulate what USPS charges for them."
January 23, 2006 -- African News Dimension has reported that "Chief Cornelius Adebayo, minister of communications, has charged the leadership of the Pan African Postal Union (Papu) to develop new products and adopt new advances in technology into the postal network in the African continent. Adebayo, who gave the challenge at this year’s Pan African Post Day celebrations, in Abuja, stressed the need for the organisation to provide the needed technical assistance to its members to enable them to meet the challenges posed by strides in technology."
January 23, 2006 -- DM News is claiming that "Senators may have worked out a compromise on postal reform legislation stuck in limbo for the past six months, DM News has learned. Sources said the bill may reach the Senate floor for a vote as early as this week."
January 23, 2006 -- The National Postal Forum has announced that the NPF promotional brochure and workshop schedule are now available on the NPF website! Visit the Forum at www.npf.org/reg6 and learn about the latest tools and insights you’ll need to succeed from the mailing industry’s premier event. Attend the mailing industry’s premier event featuring 100+ fast track workshops, 5 symposiums, exhibits and networking opportunities -- in the heart of Orlando’s entertainment zone!
January 23, 2006 -- The Edinburgh Evening News has reported that "THE performance of the Royal Mail has been criticised by Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce. Responding to a review of the company's delivery rate and pricing by Postwatch, the UK watchdog for postal services, the chamber's deputy chief executive Graham Birse hit out at "errant" delivery times and Royal Mail surcharges."
January 23, 2006 -- According to the Asahi Shimbun, "Japan Post, the public corporation set up in 2003 to make postal services more efficient, is now moving to restructure the system of privileges currently enjoyed by the 19,000 or so special-status postmasters around the country."
January 23, 2006 -- The Las Cruces Sun-News has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service has set up hot lines as one of the ways to improve service for New Mexico customers who have been complaining about slow mail service. Sens. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., met with U.S. Postmaster General Jack Potter this week. He agreed additional employees were needed to counter delivery and processing problems."
January 22, 2006 -- Americans for Tax Reform claimed that the "USPS has always been suspected of using its monopoly on first class mail to cross-subsidize its package delivery service. By cross-subsidizing its package service, the USPS can offer artificially low prices for their delivery services enjoy an unfair advantage in competitive markets. “Before undertaking yet another moneygrab, the USPS might consider cutting the size of its workforce to be effective in the 21st century. If you look at the size of their workforce, it is bigger than any two branches of the armed forces."
January 22, 2006 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "Those charged with stewardship over the welfare of the direct mail industry dread the beginning of every new legislative year. I'm somewhat undecided as to whether this time of the year should be characterized as the start of "silly season" or the start of just something stupid. For this is typically the time when those who should know better in state legislatures across the nation embark on a campaign to besmirch those who do business by mail. Usually this takes the form of legislation to limit (or cripple) the value and utility of using the mail as a means of business communication and commerce."
January 22, 2006 -- According to Kyodo, "The new company, known in Japanese as Nippon Yusei Kabushiki Kaisha, or Japan Post Co., will become a holding company on Oct. 1, 2007, the date when the nation's postal services begin a step-by-step 10-year privatization process. The public corporation will be split into four units under the holding company. The newly established Japan Post Co. will focus on plans to manage 260,000 employees and assets now controlled by Japan Post and study possible business models for the four operating companies."
January 22, 2006 -- Hoovers noted that "Small parcel carriers UPS and FedEx recently released 2006 rates and for the first time, FedEx released its air express rates before UPS. UPS followed-up by releasing rate information in November showing a 3.9% price increase for ground shipments and a 5.5% increase in air and international rates. The increased rates will likely drive even more shippers to look for opportunities to shift from air to ground whenever possible."
January 22, 2006 -- According to the Rutland Herald, "Sugarmakers learned mail-order tricks at a maple conference."
January 22, 2006 -- From i-Newswire: "ZIPCodeWorld.com is glad to announce the release of PostalCodeWorld Mexico Gold Edition Postal Codes database. The database provides complete table of Mexico postal codes, colony name, city name, state name, latitude, longitude, area code, time zone and daylight saving indicator. The complete PostalCodeWorld Mexico Gold Edition database contains over 58,000 records from 28,000+ complete postal codes in Mexico."
January 22, 2006 -- Mobiledia has reported that "A new market study from Portio Research predicts that 50% of the world's population will be using a cell phone by the end of 2009, and Africa now boasts the fastest growth rate in the world, forecast to add 265 million new mobile subscribers over the next 6 years. Among the top 25 growth markets ranking list (2006-2011) there are a few surprises. India wins the top spot, just ahead of China, and almost equally in 3rd place are Brazil, Indonesia and Nigeria."
January 21, 2006 -- According to The Guardian, "It is easily forgotten, but five years ago the high street banks were strong-armed by the government into pumping pounds 200m into the Post Office. The cash, payable over five years, was intended to help plug the Post Office's gap in revenue when benefits payments were paid directly into bank accounts. The banks regarded the pounds 200m as a windfall tax in disguise. They paid up without complaint for fear of something worse, but one or two feel that even money extracted with menaces should be spent wisely. It's a fair point."
January 21, 2006 -- The Hindu has reported that "India Post is going high-tech, in a limited way to start with. Chief Postmaster General, Karnataka, Meera Datta launched here on Friday the instant money order service called iMO. The money order you send will reach the other party within half an hour."
January 21, 2006 -- Nouvelles St-Laurent has reported that "Close to 600 employees were evacuated from the Canada Post sorting station on Jan. 12, following fears that a toxic substance in one of the packages was making people sick."
January 21, 2006 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
January 20, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
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January 20, 2006 -- WebIndia123 has reported that "The Department of Posts today launched three innovative schemes-instant Money Order Service (iMO), Children's Postal Insurance Scheme and Oriental Insurance's Accidental Death Insurance Coverage for Postal Savings."
January 20, 2006 -- The Free New Mexican has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service has replaced New Mexico's management team in an effort to improve the state's mail-delivery service. U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., met separately Thursday in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Postmaster General John "Jack" Potter to discuss problems with late and missing mail in Santa Fe and throughout the state. Potter told Domenici he was aware of the problems and recently had replaced the state's management team at the Postal Service's southwest-area operations center in Texas, said Matt Letourneau, Domenici spokesman."
January 20, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Royal Mail is lobbying the government to reverse a decision to end a £1bn contract for the payment of benefits through post offices. Subpostmasters have asked Tony Blair to intervene personally to overturn the move by the Department for Work and Pensions, which they warn would "inevitably accelerate the decline" of the post office network, closing thousands of branches. The government was yesterday forced on to the defensive over its move to end funding for Post Office card accounts, used to pay pensions and benefits to more than 4m people, when the contract ends in 2010."
January 20, 2006 -- American Postal Workers Union President William Burrus answers the question as to whether the APWU has been caught off-guard by the Postal Service's facility consolidation efforts.
January 20, 2006 -- As DMNews has noted, "The U.S. Postal Service looks to change how flats mail is addressed in a move that could save time and energy but would affect magazine, newspaper and catalog design."
January 20, 2006 -- The House Committee on Government Reform is slated to hold a postal oversight hearing on February 16.
January 20, 2006 -- Stabroek News has reported that "The Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) is part of the global postal family that is seeking to reinvent itself in the face of the threat to its viability, perhaps even its existence, posed by the "onslaught" of contemporary communication technology. Once the symbol of a mundane but none-the-less indispensable public service, the postal service is struggling to sustain its relevance in a world where Air Mail has been swept aside by e-mail and where the traditional services provided by the postal system have been devoured by the emergence of service providers whose multi-million dollar marketing methods have prevailed over the colourless public service image projected by the postal service's marketing methods."
January 20, 2006 -- The Periodical Publishers Association has reported that "Royal Mail has announced details of the price changes for Presstream, due to come into effect on 3 April. Dependent on the weight of the item, the changes will see Presstream 1 prices rise between 6.3 per cent and 6.9 per cent and Presstream 2 prices increase by between 5.5 per cent and 5.9 per cent."
January 20, 2006 -- The Guardian has reported that "the government came under fierce attack yesterday from opposition MPs, small business organisations and campaigning groups over its decision not to renew a pounds 1bn pensions and benefits payments contract with the Post Office. The Liberal Democrats demanded the renewal of the contract to run the Post Office card account while the Conservatives accused ministers of inflicting "death by a thousand cuts" on the 14,000-strong Post Office network."
January 20, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Japan Post will not be able to develop a new computer system by October 2007 when Junichiro Koizumi, prime minister, has pledged to split it up into four separate units in preparation for full privatisation, according to its president."
January 20, 2006 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "The African Day of the Post was celebrated yesterday under the theme, "the Post in the Face of Technological Development". All hopes of rekindling Cameroon's postal system seem to hinge on Information and Communication Technology (ICTs). This is the impression participants at the sixth edition of the African Day of the Post left with yesterday at the Yaounde Hilton."
January 20, 2006 -- The buzz about town is that some movement may have been made by the principals in the dispute involving S. 662 to permit the bill to come to the Senate floor for consideration. Stay tuned.
January 20, 2006 -- The latest issue of the IMAG Bulletin has been posted on this site.
January 20, 2006 -- The latest Postal Service DMM Advisory is available on this site.
January 20, 2006 -- In a letter to the Santa Monica Mirror, Mail and Jobs executive director Peter Miller wrote:
January 19, 2006 -- Harte-Hanks Trillium Software has been recognized as a ‘Market Leader' for information quality software."
January 19, 2006 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "The DMA (UK) has recruited Alex Walsh, who handled Royal Mail's relationships with mailing houses and trade associations, as head of postal affairs. While Walsh has already started work, the DMA is still looking for candidates for the more senior role of director of media channel development, to whom Walsh will report. The two roles were created to replace the single role of director of industry development and postal affairs, left vacant when David Robottom left in October to set up his own consultancy. The division recognised the increased importance of channels other than mail in the industry."
January 19, 2006 -- The Las Cruces Sun-News (via BlackEnterprise) has reported that "Arrangements are being made to give Las Cruces residents a chance to voice their concerns about mail service and post office operations. Mail delays have plagued residents for several months, and there is growing frustration among many. Postal Service employees have said they are short-staffed, and mail problems elsewhere have compounded the problems."
January 19, 2006 -- USAToday has reported that "Inflation rose at the fastest pace in five years in 2005 as higher costs for energy, housing, education and medical care drove up prices. The closely watched consumer price index rose 3.4% last year, up from a 3.3% increase in 2004 and the biggest gain since 2000."
January 19, 2006 -- As Gazette.net has noted, "For some a ZIP code is just a ZIP code. For many residents of Camp Springs, however, it's something greater than a five- or nine-digit number one writes down on an envelope or fills in on a form. It is a way to be recognized as a community."
January 19, 2006 -- According to the Asahi Shimbun, "In preparations for privatization scheduled for 2007, Japan Post is launching an offensive against a group of postmasters who wield the power of feudal lords."
January 19, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "ADVO, Inc., a leading direct mail media company and owner of the nation's most comprehensive residential and business mailing list, has become the first company to add weekly address updates now available from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). The new process trims up to seven weeks from the current procedure, and makes ADVO's residential mailing list the nation's most deliverable address file."
January 19, 2006 -- The Prague Daily Monitor has reported that "Postal services operator Ceska posta will as of February 1 raise postage for letters sent to European countries and reduce postage for letters sent by airmail to countries outside Europe."
January 19, 2006 -- According to the Sioux City Journal, "As supporters work from a number of angles to keep the Sioux City mail processing from being farmed out to Sioux Falls, the Iowa Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution to keep it in Sioux City. The resolution noted Sioux City is the fourth-largest city in the state, that the distribution center employs 150 people and that current arrangements result in "one-day service locally and national service in two days." The resolution said the loss of the mail center "would degrade service to two days for the Siouxland area and to three days for other parts of the country." Warnstadt said the unanimous voice vote "is a statement that this is not just a Siouxland issue, but a statement on the importance of the issue to all of Iowa."
January 19, 2006 -- Gulf Times has reported that "Q-POST will host a seminar of Arab postal corporations on quality management at the General Post Office next month. The five-day meet, where officials from over 20 Arab postal corporations are scheduled to attend, will start on February 5, a Q-Post official said yesterday. Some Universal Postal Union (UPU) consultants too are expected for the meet."
January 19, 2006 -- Cyprus-Mail has reported that "DESPITE some improvement in efficiency, the postal service is still failing to meet the delivery targets set by the European Union. For this failure, the service was fined £20,000 by the Regulatory Committee for Posts and Communications, which monitors whether EU delivery targets are met."
January 19, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "TNT has announced that it has completed the acquisition of TG+, a leading Spanish domestic distribution company, after obtaining all regulatory approvals. The acquisition was previously announced on 6th December 2005. Through the acquisition of TG+, TNT hopes to expand its domestic express business and strengthen its international express business in Spain."
January 19, 2006 -- According to the Santa Monica Mirror, "Postal officials are promising to adjust start times for carriers and train additional supervisors, and will soon open a new processing facility in Santa Monica. But I think we need to look at the overall volume of postal mail. Does it occur to anyone that we could heat and light our city by burning the junk mail Santa Monica residents throw into the trash?"
January 19, 2006 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "POSTA Uganda on Tuesday launched a new website www.ugapost.co.ug designed to enable customers access information and provide an interactive communication link between Posta Uganda and her stakeholders world over."
January 18, 2006 -- The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest member:
January 18, 2006 -- The U.S. Postal Service has announced that "The new Philadelphia Processing and Distribution Center located at 7500 Lindbergh Boulevard is now accepting mailer drop shipments. We encourage mailers to begin using this facility for drop shipments destined to Philadelphia PA 190. With the release of the Drop Ship Product on February 15, all drop shipments for Philadelphia PA 190 must be entered at the 7500 Lindbergh Boulevard location. Drop ship appointments are available Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 9 PM. Beginning January 30, availability will expand to Saturday and Sunday, and the hours will extend from 7 AM to 12 AM. To schedule an appointment through the Facility Access and Shipment Tracking System (FAST), use NASS Code 19176. Drop shipments destined to BMC Philadelphia PA are not affected by the opening of this new plant."
January 18, 2006 -- The latest issue of PostCom's PostOps Update has been posted on this site. In this issue: (1) USPS to implement caps redesign by September 2006; (2) New FSS focus area for MTAC; (3) Periodicals sack preparation changes.
January 18, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "Netflix, Inc. has announced the appointment of former U.S. Postmaster General William J. Henderson as chief operations officer of the world's largest online DVD rental service. He assumes his new role on January 23 and succeeds Tom Dillon, who is scheduled to retire in April.
January 18, 2006 -- According to Line56.com, "Paying bills is just one of those irritating things we all have to do. Do you know anyone who enjoys the monthly ceremony of sitting down with mounds of paper, tearing off remittance slips, and then writing, sealing and licking envelopes and stamps? Not to mention the frightening experience of realizing how little money you have left after you pay all your bills. That disappointing insight is beyond the scope of this article. However, I am here to help you with this bill payment process. By paying your bills electronically, not only will this aggravating monthly ritual be easier, convenient, and provide you better record keeping but will also provide you greater legal protections than writing paper checks."
January 18, 2006 -- As the International Herald Tribune put it, "President George W. Bush's ordering the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans without warrants contradicts a long evolution toward the secrecy of communications. Centuries ago, people in England, France and the German states fought for the right to send letters without their being opened by the "black chambers" of absolutist monarchs. Martin Luther, whose letters had been opened by the Duke of Saxony, raged that "a thief is a thief, whether he is a money thief or a letter thief."
January 18, 2006 -- From MarketWire: Firstlogic, Inc., a global provider of commercial mail and enterprise data quality solutions and services, today launched a new Commercial Mail weblog (blog) to share information and education on mail-focused topics of interest to anyone involved in mailing processes for small business, quick print businesses, or large multi-faceted printing operations. The blog is hosted by Firstlogic Commercial Mail Market Director Chris Lien, a popular educator and leader in the mailing industry. Available at http://lien.weblogs.firstlogic.com , the blog offers a discussion forum on the current trends and developments in processes, software and services for mailers of all levels of experience.
January 18, 2006 -- Kyodo has reported that "Japan Post President Masaharu Ikuta unveiled Wednesday a set of draft measures to reform small designated ("tokutei") post offices that have often drawn criticism for their vested interests, including handing down top positions through the generations within a single family."
The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in Europe, 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.
January 18, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "The U.S. Postal Service -- one of the nation's largest employers of people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing -- is offering new technology to allow its employees to better communicate with each other. Two types of video interpreting services are being installed at postal facilities across the country, allowing approximately 4,000 postal employees who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to communicate with supervisors, co-workers and others in real-time without having to bring in on-site interpreters or rely on text-based telephone systems."
January 18, 2006 -- NBC5-Dallas-Ft. Worth has reported that "The future appears in doubt for more than two dozen employees of United Parcel Service of America Inc. The delivery workers fled New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina and many have settled in North Texas. The employees now are concerned that the company might issue them an ultimatum: return to work in New Orleans or lose your jobs. Many of the relocated workers lost their residences in the city that served as home before the storm."
January 18, 2006 -- According to the BBC, "Postal workers are being urged not to drop their elastic bands to help keep the streets of south London clean. Lewisham Council estimates up to 5,000 elastic bands are dropped in the borough by postal workers every month."
January 18, 2006 -- The Caymanian Compass has noted that "A senior postal official says a large volume of mail is being returned because it is incorrectly addressed. Deputy Postmaster General of Operations, Anthony Williams said many letters and packages are undeliverable because they only show street numbers. Mail must include the post office box number and suffixes of local recipients."
January 18, 2006 -- DM News has reported that "The Association of Publishing Agencies joined with Royal Mail to build awareness of custom magazines in the United Kingdom and continue to drive growth of the market, the group said yesterday. APA is working with Royal Mail sales teams to promote custom magazines as a cost-efficient, effective marketing tool."
January 18, 2006 -- The Nigerian Tribune has reported that "In recognition of their contributions to the development of literacy and creative writing in Nigeria and across the world, three outstanding literary artistes will receive honours today in Abuja courtesy of the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST)."
January 18, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Global express and mail carrier UPS has revealed that it is to commence international mail services in Europe. The new service will be established in February, building on a successful pilot project which involved moving mail between the UK and Belgium, Netherlands, France and Germany. The operation will involve collecting unsorted mail from customers and passing them on to the carrier's postal partner, Swiss Post International. However neither the company nor analysts think that UPS intends to enter into full blown competition with postal operators such as Deutsche Post. The service addresses only a very small part of the market although the fact that UPS has been successful to date shows that there could be potential to leverage its brand."
January 18, 2006 -- In an op-ed pice to the Christian Science Monitor, American Postal Workers Union President William Burrus wrote that "In a Jan. 6 op-ed, Sam Ryan of the Lexington Institute, a conservative "think tank," claimed the Postal Service should cut postal workers' pay and benefits instead of increasing postage rates, and "outsource" more of its operations to corporate mailers. Ryan is entitled to his views, but his byline should have disclosed the he runs a PR firm, Keybridge Communications, that ghostwrites and places op-ed pieces for right-wing, anti-labor organizations.
January 18, 2006 -- BusinessNorth.com has reported that "Minnesota Diversified Industries, Inc. (MDI) announced today that it has been awarded contracts for the production of six million bulk mail trays and four million letter mail trays for the United States Postal Service's (USPS) mail handing operations. The contracts, valued at over $35 million, represent a 40% increase over last year's contracts."
January 18, 2006 -- From CarolinaNewswire: "BÖWE BELL + HOWELL, a leading provider of document processing and postal solutions, has received the Training magazine Top 100 award for a fourth year."
January 18, 2006 -- From the BusinessWire: "Accenture has honored three women who have pioneered the journey to high performance in the public sector by bestowing each with a 2006 Accenture Government Women's Leadership Award. One of the three: Government Rising Leader Category: Robin Ware, manager, Business Service Network Integration, United States Postal Service."
January 18, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "The cost of a first-class stamp is to rise from 30p to 32p on April 3, Royal Mail will announce on Wednesday. Second-class stamps will go up from 21p to 23p under the new tariff, implemented under draft four-year price controls set out last year by Postcomm, the regulator. The price increases will hit smaller businesses, many of which use franking machines. The impact will be offset somewhat by the decision to extend from first-class to second-class the 1p discount offered for franked mail, compared with stamped mail, for items of up to 60g."
January 18, 2006 -- SocialistWorker.co.uk has said that "Royal Mail's cost-cutting is creating the conditions for a possible national dispute. Across Britain offices are being asked to make "savings" that will impact on the service, on jobs and on earnings."
January 18, 2006 -- Handelsblatt has reported that "German investment company Aurelius Investkapital is to acquire German accommodation company Deutsche Post Wohnen (DPW), a subsidiary of German postal services provider Deutsche Post. The takeover is to take retrospective effect from 1 January 2006. DPW operates eight hotels, ten guest houses and four conference centres."
January 18, 2006 -- Les Echos has reported that "Philippe Lazare, the director of purchasing, cost control and property at French postal operator La Poste, is to become the head of La Poste's new personal services division."
January 18, 2006 -- The Daily Times has reported that "The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday issued notice to the attorney general of Pakistan and the Punjab advocate general on a petition challenging the increase in postal rates."
January 18, 2006 -- As one writer for Australian Doctor put it: "With the widespread use of lightning-faste-mail in recent years, one might question the ongoing role of the humble post office. In times past, the core business of the post office was simply the delivery of post. With this activity now referred to as ?snail mail? by many people who demand written material be transferred in mere nanoseconds, it might seem logical to think post offices would go the way of the dinosaurs. Not so."
January 18, 2006 -- The Australian Financial Review has reported that "Australia Post has won contracts to provide identification cards for maritime workers in Victoria, accreditation cards for professionals working with children at the Department of Community Development in West Australia and competency cards for traders under the Workcover NSW. The Federal Government-owned postal services provider said the deals accelerate the firm's efforts to diversify as revenues from traditional snail mail and bill payment services continue to drop. The contracts also follow the completion of a $200m upgrade of Australia Post's online protocol network and Netpos real-time payment system."
January 17, 2006 -- From MarketWire: "Firstlogic Inc., a leading global provider of enterprise information quality software and services, and SOLIDPartners, a leading Brussels-based consultancy service company that delivers total and integrated data warehouse and business intelligence solutions, today announced a distribution agreement that brings Firstlogic data quality software to leading companies in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg."
January 17, 2006 -- IDTechEx has reported that "Growth in passive RFID will be driven by the tagging of high volume items - notably consumer goods, drugs and postal packages - at the request of retailers, military forces and postal authorities and for legal reasons. In these cases, the primary benefits sought will be broader and include cost, increased sales, improved safety, reduced crime and improved customer service."
January 17, 2006 -- According to Pantagraph.com, "Legislation being proposed in the Illinois House would create the equivalent of a do-not-call list for junk mail in Illinois." See also CBSNews Chicago.
January 17, 2006 -- Steve Barr at the Washington Post has reported that "Neal Denton , executive director at the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, will join the American Red Cross Feb. 1 as vice president for government relations. Denton has worked for the alliance for 20 years and was named executive director in 1992. His newsletters have consistently turned a dry issue -- postal rate procedures -- into an understandable and even funny topic."
January 17, 2006 -- From PRWeb: "Shipwire.com (http://www.shipwire.com), a leading online shipping service, today introduced a suite of services for managing envelopes, packages, freight, packaging, order fulfillment, and relocations, all from the Shipwire Web site. This suite brings together over 40 partners, and nearly 2 million square feet of storage space nationwide. In December, its final month of beta release, the Shipwire Web site coordinated over 10 thousand shipments. The combination of 15 services beyond FedEx and UPS, accessed through one central Web site and phone number, delivers on the dream of a sophisticated shipping and receiving department, with discounts significantly greater than a merchant could negotiate directly; all delivered with the full benefits of "on-demand."
January 17, 2006 -- The Free New Mexican has reported that "Santa Fe postal workers said they had to work overtime Sunday and Monday in preparation for a top postal official's visit, which they expected this week. The workers, who declined to be identified, said the visit is the result of numerous complaints about Santa Fe's postal system in recent weeks. They said they had to work overtime Sunday and Monday to clear up a backlog of mail for the visit."
January 17, 2006 -- A reader of the Elmira Star-Gazette has written: "Elmira postmaster Bernard Czechowski wrote of a postal utopia in Elmira. In his dreams. Since our sectional center was moved to Rochester, we have had one big mess. I have had more lost mail and received someone else's mail every time the same substitute has been on for the past 24-plus months. If I reiterated every problem this household has had since the mail has gone "to the highly automated Rochester Processing and Distribution Center," this letter would fill this page. It may have saved the United States Postal Service a few dollars, but the cost to the people that depend on this service far outweigh any savings to the Postal Service. Give us back our local service."
January 17, 2006 -- Dow Jones has reported that "investment banks will begin vying Tuesday for the contract to handle the initial public offering of Austria's state postal services operator Oesterreichische Post AG."
January 17, 2006 -- Business First has reported that "As the Westernization of the Chinese economy speeds along and an increasing amount of goods is transferred daily between the United States and China, shippers such as United Parcel Service Inc., FedEx Corp., and DHL International GmbH are in the catbird seat. And those companies need shippers to keep goods flowing between the United States and China and within the borders of the Asian country, which has a population of more than 1.3 billion."
January 17, 2005 -- According to Les Echos, "French banks Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Groupe Banque Populaire are considering appealing to French courts to obtain the right to distribute the French national savings account, Livret A. At present, the right to distribute the account is limited to the French post office, La Poste, and the French co-operative savings bank group Caisses d'Epargne. The four banks have already appealed to the European Commission on the issue on state-aid grounds, given that La Poste has been given permission to create its own banking subsidiary, Banque Postale."
January 16, 2006 -- Kyodo has reported that "The government on Monday appointed Hiroshi Okuda, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, and four other business leaders as outside board members of a company to be founded next Monday to prepare for privatizing Japan's postal services. The other four leaders are Uichiro Niwa, chairman of Itochu Corp., Haruo Ushio, chairman of Ushio Inc., Takashi Nishioka, chairman of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Reiko Okutani, president of The R Co."
January 16, 2006 -- From the Canada NewsWire: "Today, a coalition of private Canadian and international mail companies is strongly urging the next federal government, once it takes office, to rein in immediately Canada Post which has sought injunctions against a number of private postal providers in a bid to expand its monopoly over international mail delivery and effectively kill thousands of Canadian jobs linked to Canada's thriving $100-million outbound mail industry. It also calls for a parliamentary review of the exclusive privilege provisions of the Canada Post Corporation Act as soon as Parliament gets back to business. "It is totally unacceptable that, after over 20 years of open and fair competition, Canada Post now says it has a monopoly over outbound mail and is trying to put us out of business," says Gwyneth Howell, spokesperson for the Canadian International Mail Association which represents the interests of a number of private mail companies such as Key Mail Canada and Spring Global Mail, smaller letter shops operating all across the country, as well as some of Canada's biggest printing companies. Clients include small, medium and large Canadian corporations from all across the country."
January 16, 2006 -- The Gaylord Herald Times has reported that "It's that same old line we hear from the government every day: “We need to be more efficient.” All the time our government (primarily state and federal) thinks it's making all the right moves to become more efficient, Murphy's law kicks in and taxpayers end up with more bureaucracy - and the end result is less efficiency and rising costs. The U.S. Postal Service is in the midst of one of its “surveys” at the Gaylord 497 Zip sectional sorting center, trying to give its customers (you and me) the misguided impression it's all in the name of efficiency and cost savings. It's the same old ruse practiced by government in which they announce a “survey” when, in fact, a decision already has been made in Washington or some other place where bureaucrats hang out."
January 16, 2006 -- Mail and Jobs executive director Peter Miller has challenged the disinformation published by the DFW Star-Telegram. In addition, he said that "The Star-Telegram has an obligation to fairly cover a competing medium. Why not tell readers that newspapers and the mail stream compete for advertising dollars? Why not tell readers that mail in Texas anchors more than 550,000 jobs statewide?"
January 16, 2006 -- The Vanguard has reported that "SO far, two publications have appeared in two leading newspapers in Nigeria on the issue of who succeeds the late Post Master General, Mallam Musa Abubakar Argungu."
January 16, 2006 -- As the Malta Times has noted, "One of the cardinal rules of any business is customer service. It means putting the customer first, going the extra mile, overcoming all obstacles to give a proper service. It is an attitude which people demand and rightly expect, especially of companies that provide an essential service. Last Monday's decision by Maltapost not to make postal deliveries flew in the face of this conventional wisdom. This company, which enjoys a de facto monopoly in the delivery of addressed door-to-door postal articles, decided that the weather was too unkind."
January 16, 2006 -- According to Reuters, "German private equity investor Cornelius Geber said on Monday a consortium planning a bid for Dutch mail and logistics company TNT NV was almost ready, sending the target company's shares higher."
January 16, 2006 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users has reported that:
January 15, 2006 -- Get
used to rising stamp prices, writes Bill
McAllister in the Pittsburgh Post-Gaz<span
January 15, 2006 -- According to the Washington Post, "There are, in many ways, two U.S. Postal Services. There is the one that people love to hate, especially after a hike in rates such as last week's two-penny jump. Then there is the Postal Service that has made huge strides in on-time delivery, runs one of the most impressively automated operations in the world and, for now, is bringing in a huge profit. The structural problems facing the Postal Service are monumental. Without making some hard decisions -- and revisions -- in the near term, the Postal Service "is on a crash course with cataclysmic change." What kind of change and when is unclear. Privatization? Shuttered post offices? Dramatically more expensive mail? Less frequent delivery? It could be any of those things -- or none of them. It just depends on how things go."
January 15, 2006 -- Of course, having people spread disinformation about the core of your business doesn't help either. Take this non-fact from Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "Every year, 100 million trees are cut down to make paper for junk mail. About half of junk mail is thrown away unopened and unread."
January 15, 2006 -- According to the Waterbury Republican American, "One would think a $70-billion-a-year operation that has known for weeks that its first-class rate was going up would have made certain the transition went more smoothly, especially at its flagship office. Alas, the postal service's lack of basic preparation was indicative of its lax management and many inefficiencies, and why another first-class rate increase will happen sooner rather than later. In its nearly 35 years as a government-owned corporation, the postal service has never really operated like a business as Congress intended. Consequently, the service has relied heavily on rate increases to balance its budget rather than looking for better, more efficient ways to do business. Congress and the postal service should get on with a meaningful reorganization of the postal service that among other things provides for the consolidation of local offices and regional centers and increases productivity and profitability. Americans would be better served by an agency that can more easily and swiftly make business decisions that minimize the constant upward pressure on rates."
January 15, 2006 -- According to The Observer, "A mail-order kit which allows women to monitor their biological clocks by indicating how many healthy eggs remain in their ovaries, will be unveiled next week."
January 15, 2006 -- According to the Express Times, "One catalog. Two catalogs. Three, four and five catalogs. Six catalogs, seven, eight and nine. By the end of the week "resident," who's listed as the addressee of most of these catalogs, has a small landfill piled on the kitchen table."
January 15, 2006 -- Zawya has noted that "Saudi Postal Organization has participated in Exhibition of Stamps Amateurs of Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states recently concluded in Doha, Qatar."
January 14, 2006 -- The Los Angeles Times has reported that "As customer complaints about late mail service continued Friday, local postal officials pledged a new campaign to improve delivery times across Los Angeles County. Officials acknowledged serious problems even as more complaints piled up about mail that is delivered late at night, magazines and newspapers that arrive months after publication, and mail that is dropped off miles from its intended destination. By many accounts, the region's delivery delays and glitches became widely apparent after the postal service closed a large processing center near Marina del Rey last summer, forcing most of the mail from the region's western portions to be sorted through the main Los Angeles Processing and Distribution Center in South Los Angeles."
January 14, 2006 -- TMCnet has reported that "The government is eyeing Toshihiro Takahashi, currently vice president of Japan Post and a former Toyota Motor Corp. managing director, to assume the post of president of a postal company that will manage over-the-counter services of post offices across Japan from Oct. 1, 2007."
January 14, 2006 -- According to CBC Newfoundland and Labrador, "Librarians in Newfoundland and Labrador say they remain worried about a hike in the postal rates of shipping books between libraries. Since the 1930s, Canada Post has been subsidizing the cost of mailing books between libraries. Last spring, the Crown corporation announced it wanted to end the subsidy, effective at the end of March 2006. However – after libraries and patron across the country complained of the impact of higher costs – National Revenue Minister John McCallum announced the library rate would continue beyond this April."
January 14, 2006 -- The Jersey Evening Post has reported that "JERSEY Post has increased its charges for delivering leaflets by up to 66 per cent. The new prices have already forced lifestyle magazine Nine by Five out of business and has put the future of the Consumer Council newsletter in jeopardy. Jersey Post claim the amount of mail leaving the Island has dramatically increased in recent years with the advent of the fulfilment industry and with more finance houses basing themselves in the Island. Therefore the original reciprocal agreement between the Royal Mail and Jersey Post to deliver each other's mail free of charge has ended and the Royal Mail are demanding payment as compensation."
January 13, 2006 -- The Evening Telegraph has reported that "Royal Mail today hit back in the war of words over a possible postal strike in Dundee by declaring, “What business would pay full-time if the amount of work was only part-time?” They were responding to workers’ fears that the company was engaged in a crude cost-cutting exercise and that the quality of service to customers would suffer."
January 13, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
Who handles the distribution of the PostCom Bulletin?
Why, it's NETGRAM, of course. Read more about it.
January 13, 2006 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
January 13, 2006 -- According to The Standard, "China plans to allow its banks and postal services to set up insurance companies as it moves to diversify the structure of the expanding industry."
January 13, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "PostalWat ch has distributed a Congressional Brief entitled "Postal CSRS Escrow 101" to Members of both Houses of Congress this week. The Brief summarizes the complex and highly contentious Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) Escrow issue complicating Postal Reform efforts in Congress."
January 13, 2006 -- Folio has reported that "The magazine industry’s two most powerful associations—The Magazine Publishers of America and American Business Media, its trade publishing equivalent—together spend close to $800,000 a year on lobbying efforts, representatives from the two associations say. The MPA is currently involved with three lobbyist firms, according to Polskin: Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock and Ricchetti, Inc., which represent the MPA’s interests in intellectual property and copyright, First Amendment and tax issues; and Dehart & Darr, who work on consumer protection privacy and tax issues at the state level, according to Polskin. According to ABM president Gordon Hughes, the association spent roughly $250,000 in the past year on lobbying efforts, an increase from its average of $175,000 over the past several years. (According to the association's annual report, however, ABM spent $991,626 of its $5.4 million budget on Washington representation in 2005; Hughes says that includes lobbying as well as fees for ABM's Washington counsel, Thompson Coburn, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, its New York-based general counsel.)"
January 13, 2006 -- According to FedSmith, "If there is any reader who believes the U.S. Postal Service is “soft” on its managers who break the rules, a recent appeals court decision should convince you otherwise. (Donoghue v. United States Postal Service, U.S. C.A.F.C., No. 05-3284, 1/11/06 (nonprecedential)) ."
January 13, 2006 -- DM News has reported that "The industry should expect search marketing to grow; consumers to spend more online; television advertising to change direction; and direct mail to become a low-volume, more premium medium."
January 13, 2006 -- From 24-7PressRelease: "Shipwire.com (http://www.shipwire.com), a leading online shipping service, today introduced a suite of services for managing envelopes, packages, freight, packaging, order fulfillment, and relocations, all from the Shipwire Web site. This suite brings together over 40 partners, and nearly 2 million square feet of storage space nationwide. In December, its final month of beta release, the Shipwire Web site coordinated over 10 thousand shipments."
January 13, 2006 -- The Malta Independent has reported that "The Union Haddiema Maghqudin has instructed postal operators in Maltapost’s hubs not to distribute “unaddressed mail” and registered items with effect from Tuesday, 17 January. The directive was issued after Maltapost’s management declined to guarantee that employees would not have a day of leave deducted because they did not work on Monday owing to bad weather. On Monday, Maltapost informed its mail delivery staff not to report for work because the weather was bad. Later that day, the employees learned that a day’s leave would be deducted from their annual leave entitlement."
January 13, 2006 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
Business Mailer's Review is an award-winning, independent biweekly newsletter covering issues of importance to the business mailer. It is regularly cited as among the best sources of postal information. For subscription information, check the BMR web site.
January 13, 2006 -- The Periodical Publishers Association has reported that "PPA is urging all member publishers with subscription interests to write to their MPs concerning postal regulator Postcomm’s recommendation to remove all regulatory protection from Presstream 2, or otherwise risk being exploited by an unchecked monopoly."
January 13, 2006 -- As the Associated Press has noted, "Express delivery company United Parcel Service, Inc. said Wednesday it would offer overseas letter delivery to its package customers in Europe. The company would offer the new letter service in February -- expanding a test project begun in Britain to Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, UPS spokesman Georg Leusch said from the company's German offices in Neuss."
January 13, 2006 -- WebIndia123 has reported that "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today released a postal stamp on 'pongal,' with Communications and IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran describing the event as UPA government's second honour to the Tamil people following the declaration of Tamil as a classical language."
January 13, 2006 -- GovExec.com has reported that "The outsourcing of information technology projects from the federal government to the private sector is expected to increase by more than $5 billion by 2010, despite efforts by Congress to stall it, a new report concluded. Input, a Reston, Va.-based market research firm that released the report Thursday, found that the federal government has tended not to look outside of its IT workforce because of regulatory issues and political pressure. Input forecasts the largest growth in outsourcing for the Postal Service. It is expected to expand from $872 million in fiscal 2005 to more than $1.2 billion in fiscal 2010."
January 13, 2006 -- According to the Voice of America, "Independent publications in Belarus have virtually disappeared as a result of government suppression. In 2005, at least fifteen independent newspapers were denied printing or distribution services by state-owned monopolies. The latest victim is the independent newspaper Solidarnost. Belsayuzdruk, which has monopoly on newspaper distribution through kiosks, announced that its contract with Solidarnost would not be renewed. The Belarusian state postal service also said it would cease distributing the paper and the state monopoly subscription service refused to allow people to subscribe to this and other independent newspapers. As a result, the paper was forced to stop distribution."
January 13, 2006 -- According to the Quad City Times, "the U.S. Postal Service contends there is no acceptable office space available here. Therefore, it will suspend current postal operations Feb. 24, although no decision for permanently closing the post office has been made."
January 13, 2006 -- The Smithsonian's National Postal Museum has announced that Freightliner Trucks will donate a Columbia cab-cutaway to be featured in "Networking a Nation: Star Route Service," a new exhibition opening Feb. 21 in the museum's transportation gallery. "The cab-cutaway from Freightliner Trucks is an exciting addition to the National Postal Museum's exhibits," said museum director Allen Kane. "From behind the cab's steering wheel, visitors can gain a whole new perspective on how mail is moved."
January 13, 2006 -- In its most recent DMM Advisory, the U.S. Postal Service noted, "Repositionable Notes (RPNs) give mailers a unique way to enhance their direct marketing efforts. Today, the Postal Service filed a request with the Postal Rate Commission to extend the service and prices beyond the current end date of April 3, 2006. We prepared a request to test different prices and planned to file it this week. However, on January 9 we received a Commission-sponsored white paper on RPNs and value pricing and decided to delay our filing to evaluate the white paper. Details are available on the Commission’s Web site at www.prc.gov. Click on “Contents,” then “Pending Cases & Matters,” then “MC2006-2.”
January 13, 2006 -- Di-ve has reported that "An unproductive reconciliation meeting between Maltapost officials and UHM has led the union to register an industrial dispute on January 17 for postal operations to refrain from delivering unaddressed mail and registered letters."
January 13, 2006 -- In a letter to the editor of the PostCom Bulletin, USPS Manager of Media Relations, Gerald McKiernan, wrote that "Rick Merritt would like the world to be very simple. In a recent PostCom commentary, Merritt charged that the Postal Service's productivity numbers are a sham and that postal management is not taking costs out of the system. You would think an astute observer of the Postal Service would know better, but in his opinion piece last month he seems to have lost his way."/p>
January 12, 2006 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that:
January 12, 2006 -- The Washington Post has reported that:
January 12, 2006 -- The Fina ncial Times has reported that "France has been living beyond its means since François Mitterrand came to power in 1981. Its ratio of debt to gross domestic product has grown from 20 per cent in 1980 to 66 per cent last year. Mr de Villepin promised to bring it down to 60 per cent in five years. Laurence Boone, an economist at Barclays Capital, said Paris had been spurred into action by fears that planned liberalisation of European services would expose the dire finances of French public sector companies in those sectors, such as the SNCF railways and La Poste, the post office."
January 12, 2006 -- From the Business Wire: "PrintDepartment.com, a leading web-based, on demand print and mail marketing company, announced today that it has entered into a partnership with PSI Group, Inc. (a Pitney Bowes Company) to handle its sorting and delivery of mail nationwide for its clients. PSI Group has a well-established network of "Presort Mail Operating Centers" located in 30 of the nation's largest cities, which will further speed PrintDepartment.com's delivery of direct marketing materials for its customers."
January 12, 2006 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Money laundering remains a "massive and evolving challenge," but progress has been made, according to a new report issued by a U.S. federal working group Wednesday. "The overall picture is both sobering and promising," the Treasury Department, Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Reserve and U.S. Postal Service said in their first-ever Money Laundering Threat Assessment."
January 12, 2006 -- The Los Angeles Times has asked: "Is that a prowler lurking around your front door late at night or your letter carrier? Lately, complaints have poured in from Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Calabasas and elsewhere that mail is being delivered as late as 10:30 p.m., far from swiftly and sometimes not at all. Residents also gripe that mail is being dropped off at the wrong address, often miles from the intended recipient. Concerns expressed to the office of Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles) have prompted the veteran congressman to ask that the U.S. Postal Service figure out what's going wrong and fix it."
January 12, 2006 -- As the News Journal has noted, "U.S. Postal Service customers would not be coughing up two cents more for a first-class stamp this week had Congress passed the necessary legislation, according to Bob Rider. "If Congress had taken action in a timely way to release escrow funds to the USPS, the Jan. 8 rate hike [the last hike was in 2002] did not have to come about," says Rider, former chairman of the Postal Service's nine-member board of governors. Rider, who retired Dec. 8 after serving more than a decade as a presidential appointee to the board charged with oversight of the now-solvent independent agency, explains."
January 12, 2006 -- From the Federal Register: The U.S. Postal Service has issued a final rule that adopts new mailing standards for Periodicals mail prepared in sacks. The standards include two new types of sacks--a 3-digit carrier routes sack and a merged 3-digit sack--and a new minimum of 24 pieces for most other sacks. Effective Date: May 11, 2006.
January 12, 2006 -- According to Lloyd's List (via Hoover), "the standard of proof in relation to allegations of wilful misconduct in the absence of direct evidence of the same was considered in a recent controversial case involving UPS. The Court of Appeal also considered whether carriers' standard terms and conditions derogated from the convention governing the carriage of goods by road. In the case, the court overturned the first instance decision that wilful misconduct had not been proved, and UPS was found liable for the loss of packages even though its terms and conditions expressly excluded the carriage of packages exceeding a given value.
January 12, 2006 -- Hey dude!! You goin' to the National Postal Forum in Orlando? Why not? Take a moment and check it out.!
The Postal Rate Commission site has the latest ORPES report summarizing the USPS work force. Career complement was just over 700 thousand, down 3,561 from the same time last year. By function, the only significant increase was in rural delivery, up by 1,910 employees. Mail processing lost 1,895 career employees, city delivery 1,202, and customer services 1,179. (The Mailhandler craft actually increased by 1,155, probably indicating an internal shift from the clerk craft).By location, the only major increases were at Headquarters, up 138 employees or about 5%, and the Inspector General's office, up 87 employees.
January 12, 2006 -- The Harare Herald has reported that "Postal services utility Zimpost (Private) Limited has declared a $1 billion dividend to its shareholder the Government of Zimbabwe from the $5,5 billion profit it made 2004. The company has continued to tread on a profit-making path, posting over $30 billion profit in its 2005 unaudited results. Zimpost's dividend is testimony of the organisation's fast changing fortunes following the successful implementation of an intensive five-year Postal Reform Programme (2001-05)."
January 12, 2006 -- According to the Las Vegas Business Press, "The United States Postal Service, as it's been officially known for the past 30 years, has been making a big national effort to get with the times. And to read the official reports, it looks like they're making it. They have been cutting costs and getting rid of staff. The post office has also been upgrading its technology. Seeking greater efficiencies, the post office has outsourced most of its retail operations to convenience stores, drug stores and mailbox stores."
January 12, 2006 -- According to Japan Times, "A planning company to be launched by the government Jan. 23 to set the stage for privatizing postal services will be capitalized at 300 billion yen, a committee on postal privatization said Wednesday. According to the committee, Japan Post will purchase all of the new company's 6 million shares to be issued and will transfer them to the government when the planning company is set up. Each share will have a face value of 50,000 yen, the committee said."
January 12, 2006 -- The Epoch Times has reported that "The New Zealand postal service has added the new service of customized stamps in order to further cater to its diverse customers. People who desire this service can upload their self-designed templates online. The stamps will be printed and mailed to customers by the New Zealand postal service."
January 12, 2006 -- This Day has reported that "As the search for the successor of late Alhaji Abubakar Musa Argungu, OON, the immediate past Postmaster-General and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) continues, an appeal has gone to the Federal Government to choose a distinguished and accomplished personality to replace him. The new Postmaster-General, it has been advised, must be someone who have vast knowledge not only of the local postal network but with the international system and this should play a major role in determining who takes over from the former PMG."
January 12, 2006 -- Window Book, Inc. has announced a special offer to lettershops, corporate mailers, and direct mailers. This offer helps mailers to bridge the gap should they find themselves unprepared for the U.S. Postal Service® Rate Increases and Statement Changes that go into effect this Sunday, January 8, 2006. Between now and January 23, 2006, Window Book will provide qualified new subscribers with a trial use of either DAT-MAIL™ or Post Master™, whichever software best meets the mailer's needs. This subscription enables mailers to generate accurate postage statements in compliance with new U.S. Postal Service rates. To request a subscription to our software that generates updated postal forms, mailers should contact firstname.lastname@example.org with "Request Statement Software – PR2006-01" in the email subject line and be sure to include your name, company, and phone number in the email body copy. You may also phone 800-370-2410 option 5 and mention PR2006-01."
January 11, 2006 -- AllAfrica.com has noted that "The result of the recent elections has given Liberians an opportunity to repair a country broken by ethnic hatred, class struggle, factional politics and civil wars. This is an opportunity for Liberians to come together in unity to reconcile these challenges and strive to put the country back on track. To jumpstart the country's development needs, substantial action needs to be taken right now in order to decentralize a balanced development. Every region of the country should benefit directly from resources and developmental activities, which will encourage the population to return to their respective home counties, instead of coming to Monrovia for everything from government payroll checks to consumer products, postal delivery, electricity and improved health and educational services."
January 11, 2006 -- Forbes has reported that "Austrian Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser said 49 pct of the Austrian post office, Oesterreichische Post AG, will float on the stock market in autumn."
January 11, 2006 -- Crain's New York Business has reported that "Delivery company DHL plans to spend $181 million to build its largest U.S. service center in Manhattan, a step to compete for the area's express shipping market. The new 161,125-square-foot center at 500 Tenth Avenue and West 38th Street will handle pickup, delivery and sorting operations 24 hours a day during the workweek and until 6 p.m. on Saturday. DHL signed a 20-year lease to build the facility, which will consolidate two existing service centers and increase handling capacity by 50%, to 15,000 letter and parcel shipments per hour."
Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schassel has ended speculation about the possibility of postponing the IPO of Osterreichische Post AG.
The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in Europe, 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.
January 11, 2006 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "FedEx Corp. said it was promoting Kenneth May to be president and CEO of the FedEx Kinko's printing and office document unit, after Gary Kusin said he would leave that role and the company at the end of January. May has been executive vice president and chief operating officer for FedEx Kinko's since August 2004. A company veteran since 1982, May earlier served as senior vice president of U.S. domestic ground operations, and as senior vice president of air, ground and freight at the flagship FedEx Express air carrier."
January 11, 2006 -- Kyodo news service has reported that "A committee met Wednesday for the second time to decide the details of a planning company that will be founded later this month to prepare for privatizing Japan's postal services."
January 11, 2006 -- The Nation has reported that "Firm battles for survival in a fast-paced world ruled by technological upheavals, shifting consumer needs, falling stamp sales and a nagging obligation to deliver letters everywhere in the country even when doing so does not make economic sense The Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) is fighting a major battle to survive a disruptive technological revolution."
January 11, 2006 -- The Fina ncial Times has reported that "Italian banks have followed their French counterparts in petitioning the European Commission over the banking operations of their country's state-owned post office. The ABI, the Italian banking association, wrote recently to Brussels in an effort to spur an inquiry into the possible provision of state subsidies, saying they were unfair to other banks and distort the market. Poste Italiane's financial services operations have grown rapidly. Poste now has 4.8m current accounts. That, says the ABI, is up from 400,000 in 1999."
January 11, 2006 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics company TNT NV has said it had received a letter from a shareholder threatening to sue the company on a lack of information on the ongoing tax investigation. The individual, claiming to represent a group of shareholders, said that if the company fails to give an update before Monday on the investigation it will be summoned to court, said TNT spokesman Pieter Schaffels."
January 11, 2006 -- The National Association of Letter Carriers has told its members that "The precise application of political pressure paid off for carriers when a special "week of action" by NALC members in Missouri apparently persuaded Sen. Christopher Bond to relent in his one-man effort to block a Senate vote on postal reform legislation. Although the Republican senator couched his concession in some ambiguity, he told a reporter he expected a vote on S 662, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2005, in February—the first clear indication he would lift his "hold" and allow an up-ordown vote on the measure."
January 11, 2006 -- As APWU President William Burrus told his members, "Even the Postal Service doesn't blame this rate increase on the workers! This rate increase is the direct result of the actions — or inaction — of Congress and President Bush."
January 11, 2006 -- The Jap an Times has reported that "Japan Post sued Seibu Railway Co. and two other parties Tuesday, demanding 3.67 billion yen in damages for the investment loss it incurred due to the 2004 delisting of Seibu Railway following fabrications of its financial statements."
January 11, 2006 -- According to Slate, "Magazines Bribe, Too! But they aren't very good at denying it."
January 11, 2006 -- The Centralia Morning Sentinel has reported that "The United States Postal Service is looking at its options regarding the future of the regional distribution centers in Centralia, Carbondale and Rockford in Illinois, as well as some other centers throughout the United States."
January 11, 2006 -- DMNews has reported:
January 11, 2006 -- China Radio International has reported that "The postal department of Huhhot in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is going to try out the business of selling train tickets on commission. This business will be aimed mainly for the convenience of passengers buying tickets in outlying areas."
January 11, 2006 -- In a paper prepared for the Postal Rate Commission, Stanford University economics professor Frank A. Wolak wrote:
The Postal Service's current experiment with value pricing charges a positive price increment to process RPN-attached mail without a corresponding reduction in the price of conventional mail of the same subclass. This approach cannot increase the welfare of the consumers of that subclass. This form of value pricing for RPN-attached mail is also likely to reduce (rather than increase) Postal Service revenues relative to uniform pricing of RPN-attached and conventional mail if conventional mail and RPN-attached mail are close substitutes....The current RPN market test will not yield the information necessary to determine if value pricing will increase Postal Service revenues or increase the welfare of mailers. If the prices of conventional and RPN-attached mail do not change over the course of the market test, it is impossible to measure the responsiveness of the demand for these two products to changes in their prices.
January 11, 2006 -- The Detroit Free Press has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service will construct a major mail-processing center in Pontiac."
January 11, 2006 -- President Bush has named Terry Miller as Ambassador to ECOSOC (the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in New York). Since 2002 Terry has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs where he has overseen - among many other issues - U.S. representation in the UPU and international postal policy matters. He also led the U.S. delegation to the Bucharest Congress, one of the most successful UPU Congresses ever for our country.
January 11, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "U.S. officials can open personal mail arriving from abroad as part of the fight against terrorism, and do so when they deem it necessary to protect the country. Customs and Border Protection is charged with making sure that terrorists and terrorists' weapons don't enter the country," said Suzanne Trevino, a spokeswoman for the customs agency, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. "One of our areas of responsibility is to inspect international mail coming into our country," she said. Customs and Border Protection's Web site notes that "all mail originating outside United States Customs territory that is to be delivered inside U.S. Customs territory is subject to Customs examination."
January 10, 2006 -- Forbes has reported that "The European Commission said it is taking legal action against seven EU member states Estonia over postal services) for failing to transpose EU internal market laws into domestic legislation."
January 10, 2006 -- The Postal Rate Commission has posted on its web site an update of the Domestic Mail Classification Schedule to reflect recent actions by the PRC and the Governors of the Postal Service.
January 10, 2006 -- At its January meeting, the Postal Service Board of
Governors re-elected Chairman Jim Miller and Vice Chairman Alan
Kessler to serve another year in their same capacities. The board also
welcomed the newest governor, John Gardner, who President Bush named to
a recess appointment to fill a vacant seat on the board. Gardner was the
general counsel for the US Agency for International Development and had
private sector experience as a vice president at AT&T.
The board also recognized and applauded the 34 years of service to the
Postal Service of Bill Johnstone, secretary to the board, who will
retire early next month. Wendy Hocking, from the USPS' legal
department, will succeed Johnstone. PMG Jack Potter also announced three other
officers set to retire shortly: Jim Cohen, vice president and judicial
officer; DeWitt Harris, vice president of employee resource management;
and Keith Strange, vice president of supply chain management.
The board heard a recap of the holiday mailing season from COO Pat Donahoe and Chief Marketing Officer Anita Bizzotto. Among the highlights:
In other action, the board approved $224 million for the design and construction of a new Northeast Metro Michigan processing and distribution center in Pontiac, MI. The board also approved a resolution that capital invesment projects exceeding $25 million need board approval.
January 10, 2006 -- According to Reuters, "Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate quickened to 585.8 percent in December from 502.4 percent in November. Costs for medicine and postal charges jumped by more than 1,000 percent year-on-year."
January 10, 2006 -- According to the Newark Star-Ledger, "Too many post offices around the state didn't have or ran out of the 2-cent stamps folks needed to make the 37-cent stamps they had on hand legal. Surely the demand could have been anticipated. Moreover, a better advertising campaign by the Postal Service would have gone a long way toward better preparing customers, who seemed generally unaware of the rate hike. Congress, however, can help ease the service's fiscal squeeze and minimize future cost increases. Congress made this mess and it can fix it. Lawmakers should separate the escrow fund from the controversial postal reform scheme, and the Postal Service should be given permission to use cash now if it is not needed for the retiree fund."
January 10, 2006 -- According to the Washington Post, "Rising health care costs, already threatening many basic industries, now consume 16 percent of the nation's economic output -- the highest proportion ever, the government said yesterday in its latest calculation. The nation's health care bill continued to grow substantially faster than inflation and wages, increasing by almost 8 percent in 2004, the most recent year with near-final numbers."
January 10, 2006 -- New York Newsday has reported that "Across Long Island, direct mail companies expressed anger and frustration at the latest rate increase, noting it comes on top of higher paper costs. Many said that because of competition from the Internet and other sources, it would be difficult for them to pass the costs on, although some said they would try. The direct mail industry has been part of Long Island's economy for decades, composed mostly of small companies. There were 108 direct mail businesses on the Island last year, including Publishers Clearing House, a nationally known magazine and sweepstakes marketer, in Port Washington. Jim Bowler, executive director of postal affairs at Publishers Clearing House, said the rate hike would have "a very significant impact" on its business. It could wind up costing the company "millions of dollars," Bowler said."
January 10, 2006 -- Judging from numerous press reports, the Postal Service has disappointed a number of people across the nation by not having sufficient stocks of the two-cent stamps needed because of Sunday's postal rate increase. Who'd a thunk?
Allentown Morning Call
January 10, 2006 -- The Sioux City Journal has reported that "City lawmakers pledged to go to Washington, D.C., to lobby federal officials in an effort to retain Sioux City's postmark and the 100 people employed at the Mail Processing and Distribution Center. The council unanimously pledged its support Monday to retain that center in Sioux City, noting that the potential job loss could be as high as 100 employees with average annual incomes of $50,000."
January 10, 2006 -- The Washington Post has a report that "Abramoff and others looked to Rudy to help scuttle a postal rate increase, the court documents said. The Magazine Publishers of America, which had hired Abramoff in 2000 for a campaign against the increase, told The Post last week that it paid $25,000 to the same Seattle foundation. A spokesman for the publishers group, Howard J. Rubenstein, said its directors "had absolutely no knowledge of how the money would be used."
January 10, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that it "has published its latest report on the Global Air Cargo industry. Air Cargo is an integral part of many manufacturers' and retailers' global supply chains, allowing companies in a range of sectors to operate in lean inventory environments. Given the expansion of remote manufacturing, especially for high value goods, the importance of air cargo is set to become even more important."
January 10, 2006 -- According to the Free New Mexican, "Maggie Murray, a field-office supervisor for U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N .M., in Santa Fe, said Domenici's office received nearly 20 phone calls over the weekend from people complaining about missed deliveries, late deliveries or problems with forwarding or holding mail. María Najera, a Washington, D.C., spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N .M., said Bingaman has received 28 complaints since early December. The senator plans to meet with U.S. Postmaster General John Potter on Jan. 19 to discuss the problems, she said."
January 10, 2006 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users (NAMMU) announces its January Super Session, Thursday, January 26th 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (coffee/registration 9:45 a.m.) Gateway Postal Facility – Host: Canada Post Corporation 4567 Dixie Road, Mississauga. Register now for the first Toronto Chapter meeting of 2006, PLUS the National Workshop which follows immediately, addressing current credit and billing management issues, and seeks your input on future plans. Jam-packed value at this first 2006 Super Session!
January 10, 2006 -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has noted that "The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recognized the U.S. Postal Service Boise Processing and Distribution Center in Boise, Idaho, for continued excellence in worker health and safety."
January 10, 2006 -- According to PostalNews.com, "The Washington Post reports that the Magazine Publishers Association's efforts to thwart a rate increase in 2001 may be central to any prosecution of Tom Delay or others involved in the Abramoff scandal."
January 10, 2006 -- According to the American Postal Workers Union, "In a major victory for the APWU, the use of Transitional Employees has been terminated in all postal facilities except REC sites, effective Dec. 31, 2005."
January 10, 2006 -- According to AllAfrica.com, "The Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) is fighting a major battle to survive a disruptive technological revolution. Slightly over a decade now since the Internet was introduced in Kenya, PCK has been watching its traditional sources of revenue get cannibalised by e-mail. Mobile phones, with their people features for sending short text messages (SMS) have also been a menace for the postal business."
January 10, 2006 -- News14Carolina has reported that "Stamps cost 39 cents now because postal prices increased 5.4 percent Sunday. The extra two cents might not mean much to the average American. But for businesses, charities and other organizations that send millions of mailings a year, the bottom line is seriously affected."
January 10, 2006 -- Congratulations to PostCom members Quad/Gr aphics, Fedex, and UPS for being named among Fortume magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For."
January 10, 2006 -- The Irish Times has reported that "A dispute between An Post management and the Communications Workers Union (CWU) has left companies in Shannon without an "adequate postal service" and An Post about to lose thousands of euro worth of business each month."
January 9, 2006 -- A copy of Postal Legislative Update - January 9, 2006 has been posted on this site. In this issue, NAPS reported that:
January 9, 2006 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that "Pin Group, the German postal services company, plans to expand significantly its activities and win customers from Deutsche Post, the national postal services provider. Deutsche Post now only holds the monopoly on letters under 50g and will finally lose its monopoly in 2008."
January 9, 2006 -- From MarketWi re: "Opening two new stores today, Postal Connections of America (PCA) announces its 99th and 100th locations in the U.S. The rapidly growing franchise chain of postal, business and communication services stores opens in Indianapolis, Indiana and Costa Mesa, California. The franchise network has retail locations in 25 states. Since January 2002, when current management was put in place, the franchise chain has grown by 350%. PCA stores offer packaging, shipping, mail receiving and forwarding, copies, fax sending and receiving, Internet access, eBay auction support and other products and services. Unlike many similar stores, PCA franchise stores feature shipping alternatives giving customers choices in prices, delivery times and carriers-UPS, FedEx, DHL, USPS and others-instead of selling only one shipper's service."
January 9, 2006 -- From the Business Wire: "Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c30463) has announced the addition of Express House View 2005 to their offering. Express House View 2005 presentation provides an overview of the European express and parcels delivery market including top level data, forecasts and analysis of the main factors affecting the industry. The product also provides insight into the main market trends and the resulting implications for the express and parcels delivery carriers."
January 9, 2006 -- Agenzia Giornalistica Italia has reported that "It will be possible to collect cheques for babies born in 2005 from the post office by 15 January. Those born in 2005 and 2006 will bring with them bonuses of 1000 euro as set out in the last Budget and 696 million euro has been set aside to finance this."
January 9, 2006 -- the Charlotte Business Journal has reported that "BA Merchant Services has signed a contract with the U.S. Postal Service to provide credit-card processing and settlement services at more than 34,000 sites. BA Merchant Services, a division of Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp., will provide the services beginning in March at post offices, automated postal centers and the online postal store at USPS.com."
January 9, 2006 -- Traffic World has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is changing the way it moves mail to soldiers and others in the Middle East by signing a large contract with Kalitta Air. Ypsilanti, Mich.-based Kalitta Air beat out four other bidders for the contract requiring it to deliver all the mail to the Middle Easter each day, which will necessitate the use of subcontracted carriers as well."
January 9, 2006 -- UPS CampusShip™, a Web-based technology that makes it easy for far-flung employees to use a common package shipping system, is expanding its geographic reach to 17 additional countries and another territory. The expansion brings to 42 the number of countries and territories in which business customers can use the technology. With UPS CampusShip, employees in different locations can easily process and prepare UPS package shipping labels from their own computers. Company managers, meantime, can monitor the process; establish company or department shipping guidelines (i.e., certain employees can ship air express), and accurately track and allocate shipping costs by department or location."
January 9, 2006 -- The Consumer Postal Council has posted on its web site a ""Bibliography of Helpful Postal Reform Books And Source Documents."
January 9, 2006 -- The New York Times has reported that "The press has spilled plenty of ink writing about Jack Abramoff, the powerful Washington lobbyist at the center of an extensive corruption scandal. But little noticed is that among Mr. Abramoff's many clients was the press itself, at least part of it. In 2000, he represented the Magazine Publishers Association, and it turns out that some of the association's money may have been funneled to Mr. Abramoff's political allies. The magazine association paid at least $1.4 million from 2000 to 2003 to Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds, the lobbying firm where Mr. Abramoff was the chief lobbyist. The money was part of a broader, $10 million campaign by the association to keep postal rates down, explore reform of the postal system and seek alternate means of delivering magazines. The magazine association made another payment that is under scrutiny. In 2000, the association made a $25,000 contribution to a nonprofit group called Toward Tradition, an alliance of Jews and evangelical Christians, based on what Mr. Rubenstein called a directive from Preston Gates."
January 9, 2006 -- KOTV has reported that "A lobbyist with close ties to U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook helped the congressman raise tens of thousands of dollars that then were used to support Republican candidates running for the Oklahoma Legislature in 2004. At the time he was raising money for Istook's political action committee, the lobbyist, Dennis Stephens, had clients with specific interests in legislation being authored by Istook, The Oklahoman reported from its Washington bureau. Istook, R-Warr Acres, was chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees transportation spending as well as the U.S. Postal Service and some Treasury Department activities. It is a powerful position that Istook held in 2003 and 2004."
January 9, 2006 -- WMTW.com has noted that "Postal rate increases taking effect this week won't escape the notice of a number of Maine companies that do a lot of mailing."
January 9, 2006 -- According to Th e Forum, "The U.S. Postal Service has had positive cash flow the past two fiscal years to the tune of $7.9 billion according to the Office of Management & Budget. Then we ask, why are the postal rates going up almost 6 percent this January? The only reason is PL 108-18 passed by Congress and signed by the president in 2003."
January 9, 2006 -- According to the Jamaica Gleaner, Acting Postmaster General, Michael Gentles, said recently that many persons who reside in the Kingston Metropolitan Region (KMR) have noticed that they get their mail well within the 'Day Plus Two' standard established for mail within that area."
January 9, 2006 -- The New York Daily News has reported that "Getting your two cents worth was an ordeal on the last day before postal rates went up. The price of a first-class stamp rises to 39 cents from 37 cents today - but all the vending machines at Manhattan's main post office were out of 2-cent add-ons."
January 9, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "Royal Mail and the US Postal Service (USPS) are today (10th January) both issuing sets of stamps on the theme of classic characters from timeless children's illustrated stories. Royal Mail is issuing eight stamps in the UK featuring seven 'home-grown' books plus The Very Hungry Caterpillar from the United States."
January 9, 2006 -- The Washington Post has reported that:
January 9, 2006 -- According to DM News:
January 8, 2006 -- The Angola Press has reported that "Egyptian MP Talaat Sadat, whose uncle became the first Arab leader to make peace with Israel, called for a boycott of all mail coming from the Jewish state in protest against a stamp deemed offensive to Islam. The independent daily Nahdet Masr on Saturday carried a letter signed by Sadat and three other lawmakers urging the Egyptian government to file a request for Israel to withdraw the "infidel" stamp. In the mouthpiece of Sadat`s Ahrar party, the MPs explained that the stamp depicted a muezzin calling for prayer from the top of his minaret like a pop star singing to a crowd."
January 8, 2006 -- As the News Tribune has noted, yes, it's true. "When a letter or package leaves someone's sight, people seldom give a second thought to how it gets where it needs to go -- as long as it gets there on time."
January 8, 2006 -- As the News Times put it, "It stinks. We're powerless. Online bill paying, here we come. Raise the price of stamps and those are the reactions you get. It will cost you 2 cents more to mail a letter as of Sunday, thanks to a rate increase from the U.S. Postal Service."
January 8, 2006 -- One writer for the New York Daily News has asked: "Can somebody please tell the U.S. postal authorities that we do NOT want to spend the winter scrounging around for an extra 2-cent stamp? Or, worse, smacking ourselves a little too hard on the forehead because we keep forgetting to buy those stupid 2-cent stamps and thus end up mailing our letters with two full-price stamps instead? Which is basically tipping the post office for making us miserable?"
January 8, 2006 -- According to Business Online, "you shouldn't expect rival posties scrapping on your doorstep, a choice of different companies' stamps or new post boxes springing up next to the Royal Mail's signature red pillar boxes. Royal Mail's competitors should now compete to deliver mail for small- to medium-sized businesses, but it will be a while before they try to prise away its hold on the UK's doorsteps."
January 7, 2006 -- According to the American Postal Workers Union, "To the consternation of the American public and APWU members, the Postal Service began making announcements late last year that it was consolidating "some operations" at approximately a dozen processing and distribution facilities, and conducting Area Mail Processing feasibility surveys at others. The AMP studies are likely to result in additional instances of consolidation, and the APWU, at all levels, continues to press the Postal Service for details on its plans."
January 7, 2006 -- The Free New Mexican has reported that "As New Mexico's U.S. senators investigate a series of complaints they've received about the U.S. Postal Service in the state, local residents are adding to the pile. Spokeswomen for U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., said their offices have received numerous complaints about mail delivery in New Mexico and are investigating the problems. María Najera, a Washington, D.C., spokeswoman for Bingaman, said he plans to meet with U.S. Postmaster General John Potter in about a week to discuss the problems."
January 7, 2006 -- Busi ness Money has reported that "Royal Mail has further demonstrated its unique market insight by announcing the launch of a new mailing list – Just Built™. Just Built™ utilises Royal Mail's market position and close relationship with local authorities by providing addresses and postcodes for newly built properties. This valuable address information will enable financial services brands to be the first to access these responsive prospects to promote relevant products and services, from contents insurance to personal loans to help with the expense of occupying a new home."
January 7, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
Who handles the distribution of the PostCom Bulletin?
Why, it's NETGRAM, of course. Read more about it.
January 7, 2006 -- The Postal Rate Commission has denied the petition of J.P. Morgan Chase to reopen the record on the BankOne negotiated service agreement. It noted, though, that:
This does not leave Chase and the Postal Service without a remedy. The Negotiated Service Agreement is currently in place, and apparently Chase is profiting from it. The Commission has established rules for seeking modifications to existing Negotiated Service Agreements. See 39 C.F.R. § 3001.198. These rules establish an accelerated procedure to address technical defects, unforeseen circumstances or intervening events. It may well be that an unforeseen circumstance totally unrelated to the impending merger has caused the volume surge reported in the Petition. The Commission then can consider the operating parameters of the agreement under theactual mailing environment, rather than basing its decision on information about conditions that may no longer apply.
January 7, 2006 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site. In this issue: "Postal Turf Battle – PRC vs. USPS."
January 7, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire:
January 7, 2006 -- From the Armed Forces Press Service: "In the age of e-mail, podcasts and blogs, it's easier than ever before for deployed troops to stay in contact with their friends and loved ones at home.But many say none of these high-tech communications can compete with an old-fashioned card or letter they can tuck away in a pocket or backpack and reread anytime, anywhere, until it's faded and dog-eared. A Marine Corps innovation is offering the perfect middle ground: letters from home that are downloaded, printed and delivered in hard-copy format, usually within 24 hours rather than the week or more is takes traditional "snail mail" to arrive. MotoMail, short for "motivational mail," is the Marine Corp's answer to express mail for deployed Marines."
January 6, 2006 -- Not quite postal, but close enough.... Traffic World has reported that "President Bush gave recess appointments to two Amtrak board members, meaning the troubled railroad's board can continue to function. With Congress out of session, Bush reappointed Floyd Hall and Enrique Sosa to the board of directors. The pair of businessmen had already been serving on the board as recess appointees, but their appointments expired when the Senate adjourned for 2005. The Bush administration plans to continue pressuring Congress to pass a major Amtrak reform bill in 2006, a DOT spokesman said. The administration wants to see the railroad turn a profit, something it has never done."
January 6, 2006 -- The Tide has reported that "The Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST), Rivers Territory, has installed track and trace system for users of the postal services in the state."
January 6, 2006 -- The Traverse City Record Eagle has reported that "John Marcotte is certain federal officials soon will move the jobs of 70 postal employees from Gaylord. Marcotte is president of American Postal Workers Union Local 4881. He contends an ongoing efficiency survey of the Gaylord processing center is a ruse. The Traverse City facility is primed to take over Gaylord's operation, he said."
January 6, 2006 -- According to Mailers Council executive director Robert McLean, "The implementation of a postage rate increase on January 8 is a reminder to Congress and the White House that Americans will see significant annual postage rate in-creases like the one being implemented this Sunday for years to come-unless they approve legislation to reform the United States Postal Service."
January 6, 2006 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "After an unusual warning from the internal affairs ministry last summer, Japan Post is planning a crackdown on internal crime, including demotions of supervisors who are lax in surveillance. Japan Post reported 127 criminal acts, such as embezzlement of cash and concealment of postal matter, in the year ended in March."
January 6, 2006 -- 9News .com has reported that "The Denver office of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service has apparently cracked a theft case involving hundreds of DVDs being stolen from the U.S. Mail."
January 6, 2006 -- The Fina ncial Times has reported that "Alan Cook, chief executive of National Savings and Investments, in March becomes the first managing director of the Post Office, reporting to Adam Crozier, chief executive of Royal Mail. Mr Cook, 52, joined the Post Office board last year."
January 6, 2006 -- According to the Lexington Institute's Sam Ryan writing in the Christian Science Monitor, "Postmaster General John Potter deserves credit. He has reduced the USPS workforce by 10 percent through voluntary retirements since assuming office in 2001. He has also led the way on outsourcing, in particular extending "work share" discounts to big mailers who presort their own letters. Through measures like these, Mr. Potter has been able to keep the USPS in the black despite a continuing decline in First Class mail volume. Nevertheless, the USPS needs to cut costs further if it is to face down more than $70 billion in unfunded liabilities, money it has promised to future retirees but has no way to pay."
January 6, 2006 -- As The Guardian has noted, "TNT Mail, an arm of the Dutch postal group, is expected to be one of the main beneficiaries of the ending of the Royal Mail's 350-year monopoly on January 1. It is one of 14 operators to have won licences to compete against Royal Mail in a market worth more than £6bn a year. Since the beginning of this week, these companies have been able to deliver direct to Britain's 27m homes rather than pay the Royal Mail for the services of its postmen and women."
January 6, 2006 -- As Madison.com has noted, "Beginning this Sunday, it will not only cost you more to pay bills by mail, it will cost companies more to mail those bills to you. That's because postal rates are going up. That's why MG&E and other companies are hoping more customers will start paying their bills electronically on the Internet. 15-percent of MG&E's residential customers or about 22,500 pay their bills online. One of the reasons the U.S. Postal Service is increasing the cost of a stamp is that revenues are down because more people are paying bills online, instead of by first-class mail."
January 6, 2006 -- North Country Gazette has reported that "The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next week on the William Moore case. Moore was CEO of a company that manufactured optical scanning equipment. After a series of hearings before trial and appellate courts, Moore's claim against the prosecutor has been dismissed and the Supreme Court must now decide whether the postal inspectors are immune from suit because the prosecution, although retaliatory, was supported by probable cause."
January 6, 2006 -- According to Virgin.net , "One of the companies taking on Royal Mail in the newly-liberalised postal market issued a profits warning after a slump at a key business. DX Services, which specialises in delivering time-critical documents for banks, estate agents and lawyers, said first half operating profits would be down 12% on a like-for-like basis on the previous year." See also the BBC.
January 6, 2006 -- The Hi ndustan Times has reported that "MAKING YET another bid to be in the competition with the private couriers, the Postal Department has come up with an international standard size envelope after 36 years. The international size aims at making the users convenient, and stops them from purchasing a bigger envelope from open market."
January 6, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "With effect from January 1, 2006, Renato Chiavi, 65, has handed over management of DHL Danzas Air & Ocean to Chris Fahy, 49. Fahy, who has been the regional head of Europe up until now, will manage the division, which has grown since the acquisition of Exel and is now called DHL Global Forwarding."
January 6, 2006 -- According to the Natc hez Democrat, "Postal customers seem to be taking the rate hike in stride."
January 6, 2006 -- The Executive Director of the Mailers Council has reported that "John S. Gardner, who has served as General Counsel of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has been a recess appointment to the USPS Board of Governors."
January 6, 2006 -- The Postal Service has told its customers that "Only two days before the price change and all online systems are staged and ready to go live on January 8.
January 6, 2006 -- AFX Europe has reported that "Technip said it won a 3.5 mln eur project management contract from French postal service La Poste to manage the technical integration of two automated mail sorting facilities in the Val de Loire and Lorraine regions, with an option to manage five others."
January 6, 2006 -- Les Echos has reported that "Thierry Breton, the French finance minister, yesterday sought to ally fears arising from the creation of a bank by the French post office, La Poste, by stressing the key role which the new entity would have in combating the exclusion of parts of the French population from banking services."
January 5, 2006 -- The Guardian has reported that "The new boss of Britain's post office network expects a showdown within months of his arrival with ministers over the future of rural branches, many of which would shut if the government makes cuts to its £150m subsidy."
January 5, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "University of Oklahoma Outreach has been recognized as one of the nation's outstanding managers of personnel services contracts by winning the $27 million U.S. Postal Service contract for the National Center for Employee Development (NCED). The new contract, which began Jan. 1, provides $13.5 million for two years with three one-year renewal options. Total value for the five-year contract, if exercised, is more than $67 million, making it the largest contract award in the history of the OU Norman campus."
January 5, 2006 -- Government Computer News has noted that "The U.S. Postal Service is reaching out to industry as it undertakes a broad review of its data encryption policies." See also Federal Computer Week
January 5, 2006 -- Auctionbytes.com has reported that "Amazon told third-party sellers Wednesday they will have to absorb the increase in shipping costs when the USPS raises postal rates next week. Amazon charges buyers shipping fees for items purchased from its third-party sellers on Amazon Marketplace, but will not raise shipping fees for buyers; instead, sellers will absorb the higher shipping costs."
January 5, 2006 -- Air Cargo World has reported that:
The changing landscape of global logistics is shifting yet again, this time with a new twist. Rather than joining its peers in the recent trend toward consolidation among logistics giants, TNT is looking to get leaner and focus more closely on its delivery services by selling off its $4 billion logistics business this year. The Netherlands-based operator says its express and mail units offer better returns. Logistics is a big revenue producer for the company, but TNT raised new questions about the whole move toward expansive "one-stop shop" services that cross traditional business borders by pointing to the low profit margins in the logistics trade.
January 5, 2006 -- The Postal Rate Commission has amended its Rules of Practice and Procedure by insertingThe Commission amends its Rules of Practice and Procedure by inserting new rule 5(s), 39 C.F.R. § 3001.5(s) as follows:
"Postal service means the receipt, transmission, or delivery by the Postal Service of correspondence, including, but not limited to, letters, printed matter, and like materials; mailable packages; or other services incidental thereto."It ordered that the amendment would be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. It also ordered that:
January 5, 2006 -- UsingRFID has reported that "The supply chain services provider TNT Express has announced that it is to deploy Xterprise's Trax Visibility real-time supply chain execution system to support the movement of high value electronics goods from China to Europe."
January 5, 2006 -- As the Ab erdeen News has noted, "The study currently under way of mail processing in Aberdeen does not call for public input, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. "There is no community component with the study," said Teresa Rudkin of the U.S. Postal Service's public affairs office in Denver. "It's just an internal look at mail processing and network operations. The study is being conducted by postal people, and does not call for public comment."
January 5, 2006 -- As the Sun-Sentinel has noted, "A national group supports an effort to make city-specific ZIP codes. ZIP codes are for delivering mail, not boosting civic pride. However, officials in Pembroke Pines make a good case for why city-specific postal codes are not just a vanity thing."
January 5, 2006 -- Azeez Jaffer, the Postal Service's communications chief, has taken issue with a recent piece published in the Arizona Star by the Lexington Institute's Sam Ryan.
January 4, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "The U.S. Postal Service will dedicate the "Favorite Children's Book Animals" commemorative postage stamps to immortalize eight lively and colorful characters from children's literature. Participating will be Linda Kingsley, Vice President, Strategic Planning, U.S. Postal Service; Tony Devine, Philatelic Channel Manager, Royal Mail (United Kingdom); David Failor, Executive Director, Stamp Services, U.S. Postal Service; and Dr. DeBow Freed, President, The University of Findlay"
January 4, 2006 -- The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has reported that "Albertans know that their $400 prosperity cheque from the province is arriving sometime in January, but the date won't be made any more specific than that in an effort to thwart mail theft."
January 4, 2006 -- From CCN Matthews News Distribution: "Extra trucks, planes and good weather helped Canada Post deliver the holidays. "It was a very successful holiday period", said Rick Joubert, Director of Canada Post's National Control Centre. "We actually delivered 35,000 parcels on Christmas Eve." Combining state-of-the-art telecommunications, video display and computer technology, the National Control Centre is the most sophisticated mail monitoring system in the world. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, directing the movement of mail nation-wide. The National Control Centre has become a model for other postal administrations and has attracted the attention of businesses all over the world."
January 4, 2006 -- The Consumer Postal Council has distributed its latest postal update. A copy has been posted on this site.
January 4, 2006 -- As postal commentator Gene Del Polito has noted in his latest perspective for Direct magazine, "It's 2006 and inquiring minds want to know: What can business mailers expect in the year ahead? In a nutshell, a dollop of uncertainty served up with a heaping helping of change."
January 4, 2006 -- Be sure to check out the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum Schedule of Programs January - April 2006.
January 4, 2006 -- According to Gibraltar News via Panorama, "Postal Services across Europe are adapting to a competition regime this week as moves by the European Union to open the market take effect. This is bound to affect Gibraltar, as it has to keep in step with EU laws."
January 4, 2006 -- According to the American Postal Workers Union, "Postal Service announcements of plans to consolidate "some operations" at mail processing facilities around the country have generated interest in the press, as well as among elected officials and consumers. The reviews are almost universally unfavorable. The deterioration of customer service, the demise of historical postmarks, and the dislocation of citizens important to local economies are issues that seem to resonate with the media, legislators, and the public."
January 4, 2006 -- As Pantagraph has noted, "While it seems small, that 2-cent increase on the price of stamps will cost businesses a bundle, and it could spark a major push for more online bill-paying. State Farm Insurance Cos. offices, for example, mail around 1 million letters on the average day, mostly bills and informative letters to policyholders. Last year, it spent $204 million on mail. This year, State Farm will pay an extra $11 million, said spokeswoman Missy Lundberg."
The German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) has ordered the abolition of the trademark "Post". DPMA now states that the term "Post" is a common word in the German language and also frequently used to describe the actual object of transmission. On Monday, a Deutsche Post spokesman announced that the post would exhaust all possibilities of legal action, "taking the matter to the Federal Patent Court and, if necessary, to the Supreme Court".
January 4, 2006 -- According to one writer for The Guardian (U.K.), "If Royal Mail is to see off the privateers it will have to get to grips with postal theft and tampering."
January 4, 2006 -- According to Logistics Business Review, "Prior to liberalization, competition in Britain's GBP4.5 billion mail industry had been restricted to 30% of the value of the letters market, and to companies handling bulk mail in batches of 4,000 letters or more. Full market opening means that licensed operators are now able to collect and deliver any mail, from single letters to bulk mailings. A code of practice will ensure mail companies co-operate on issues such as the forwarding of mail and handling mail that is returned to sender, and a separate code will safeguard the integrity of the mail. Industry observers believe that the British public is unlikely to notice any real difference as rival companies such as TNT and Deutsche Post are expected to concentrate on the more lucrative business sector."
January 4, 2006 -- According to the Nordic Business Report, Swedish letter and logistics company OptiMail AB said on Tuesday (3 January) that the Norwegian postal services provider Posten Norge AS (Norway Post) had announced that shareholders representing some 92.3% of the share capital and voting capital in OptiMail AB had accepted its public offer to acquire all outstanding shares in the company."
January 4, 2006 -- Reporter.gr has noted that "The number of postal services providers increased from 5 in 1999 (the year the market liberalized) to 172 in December 2005, according to a survey on the postal services market made by the National Regulation Authority for Communications (ANRC), Bursa news agency reports. According to the survey, the enforcement of an efficient regulation framework led to the improvement of services and cut in tariffs, thus stimulating productivity and enhancing the economic growth."
January 4, 2006 -- Here's an interesting tidbit from the Associated Press concerning the guilty plea of Jack Abramoff, former staffer to ex-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay: "On behalf of clients eager to stop internet gambling and postal rate legislation, Abramoff paid $50,000 in 10 equal monthly payments beginning in June 2000 to the wife of a congressional aide identified as Staffer A. Based on other information made public, Staffer A was Tony Rudy, at the time a top aide to DeLay. His identity was confirmed by officials who spoke only on condition of anonymity, noting that the court papers did not name the aide."
January 4, 2006 -- Kyodo has reported that "Japan Post President Masaharu Ikuta urged the staff of the state-backed entity to be well-prepared for the privatization of postal services starting in October 2007."
January 4, 2006 -- The Jakarta Post has reported that "In a reversal of fortune, a former student activist who was once on president Soeharto's most-wanted list, has been appointed to a commissioner's post at PT Pos Indonesia."
January 4, 2006 -- The M ilford Daily News has noted that "While neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night keep postal carriers from their routes, theft and injury did pose problems for residents awaiting their mail this fall. Selectmen last night discussed the numerous problems residents experienced in the fall involving the alleged theft of mail by a letter carrier, and the U.S. Postal Service's response."
January 4, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "Group 1 Software, Inc., a Pitney Bowes Company has announced that Microsoft Corp. has chosen to incorporate Group 1's GeoStan(TM) geocoding software and data into its online offerings, MapPoint Web Service and Windows Live Local, for real-time geocode assignment. Group 1's GeoStan will enable Microsoft to improve the accuracy of the address location on its online mapping systems."
January 4, 2006 -- The Prague Daily Monitor has reported that "State-run postal services operator Ceska posta will reduce its workforce by 860 to 37,450 staff this year following the windup of its technical support unit in October 2005."
January 4, 2006 -- Gulf Times has reported that:
January 4, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported:
US logistics company Yellow Roadway Corporation has announced that it has changed its name to YRC Worldwide Inc. It believes that this better reflects its worldwide scope and the expansion of its capabilities into a variety of logistics activities.
January 4, 2006 -- The Fiji Times has reported that "Customers will now have to pay $5 more for post office box rentals. Post Fiji has increased the rental from $35 to $40 for 2006, which became effective from January 1. The last time the rental increased was in January last year when it jumped from $25 to $35. Owners of small size letterboxes will be paying $40 while the medium boxes will pay $60 and larger boxes $100. Customers using the Private Mail Bag will have to pay $150 this year."
January 3, 2006 -- DM News postal commentator Cary Baer has a wish for 2006: "Let's Make '06 the Year of Address Quality."
January 3, 2006 -- As Busines s Week has noted, "When babycenter.com was born in 1997, the parenting e-zine reveled in the cost savings to be found in cyberspace. No postage rates or paper bills to worry about. Ink? So yesterday. So it comes as quite a surprise that eight years later, at a time when the magazine industry is falling over itself to boost its presence online, that BabyCenter has launched a version of its popular Web site on -- gasp -- paper. As wired as the world is today, there is relief, it seems, in turning pages the old way. Traditional magazines from Time to Playboy years ago started cyberspace versions to keep up with the demand for round-the-clock news updates and online communities. Now the tables have turned. Upstart Internet publishers, helped by low costs that go with signing up their online members, are venturing into the print world they once viewed as an albatross of paper and distribution expenses."
January 3, 2006 -- Postalnews.com [see Monday, January 2] is carrying a number of letters to the New Orleans Times-Picayune taking issue with the response the U.S. Postal Service has given to criticisms of service in the New Orleans area.
January 3, 2006 -- Bu siness World has reported that "A document exchange company already operating in Ireland is considering entering the door-to-door postal delivery market. DX Ireland is already shifting up to 40,000 pieces of mail a night through its 200 document exchange sites."
January 3, 2006 -- Business Times has reported that "Pos Malaysia's stocks have benefited from a government plan to transform government-linked companies (GLCs). Shares of the national postal company gained more than 55 per cent in 2005, beating companies with bigger market value."
January 3, 2006 -- NewIndPress has reported that "Faced with stiff competition from private couriers and internet services, the Department of Posts too has had to adopt several marketing strategies to boost its revenue."
January 3, 2006 -- According to the Charleston Daily Mail, "As the United States Postal Service prepares for a 2-cent rate increase on stamps for first-class single piece mail items, a Wheeling man says he remembers when 2 cents was the whole cost, and he has a letter to prove it."
January 2, 2006 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "The new head of Poczta Polska (PP), Zbigniew Niezgoda is not going to conduct a revolution as he finds the course being taken by PP to be correct."
January 2, 2006 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics company TNT NV (TP) and the French cargo transport operator Malherbe announced today that they have signed an agreement for the sale of the activities of Logistiques Ladoux, part of the activities of TNT's French subsidiary TNT Logistics Holdings SAS."
January 2, 2006 -- According to Dan Soifer writing in the TCPalm, "The new Transformation Plan pays lip service to the right ideas. Unfortunately, it doesn't tell us if the Postal Service can deliver real change."
January 1, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that "The Royal Mail's 350-year monopoly ended at the turn of the year, allowing other licensed operators to deliver mail to business and residential customers. Surprisingly, the Royal Mail - which currently controls 99% of the market - agreed to the move, even though under EU rules the deadline for such a move was not until 2009."
January 1, 2006 -- The Post.ie has reported that "The employees of La Poste, the French postal service, have been busy this Christmas. Not only did they have to cope with the usual bulk of greeting cards and Santa wish lists, but they were also preparing for today's launch of France's largest retail bank network, La Banque Postale."
January 1, 2006 -- According to The Telegraph, "The number of MPs to have signed an Early Day Motion opposing Royal Mail's plan to hand a fifth of its equity to employees has reached 208. Allan Leighton, Royal Mail's chairman, believes the scheme is a vital incentive to motivate employees and steel the company for full liberalisation of the postal market, which begins today. However, such widespread Parliamentary opposition - made up of nearly all Labour backbenchers entitled to sign, and a third of all MPs - means it will almost certainly be blocked."