Postal News from August 2006:
August 31, 2006 -- According to CNET News, "It's no secret that newspapers are having a rough go of it, though a persuasive argument can be made that much of their problems are of their own making. Still, all hope is not lost--but some drastic and painful changes need to be made just to stay even in the hypercompetitive media landscape."
August 31, 2006 -- The Periodical Publishers Association has reported that "Postcomm, the independent regulator for postal services, has imposed a financial penalty of £9.62m on Royal Mail for breaching its licence by failing to properly protect the mail in its care. The penalty follows a review of Royal Mail's "mail integrity procedures", during which Postcomm found that some important features of Royal Mail's procedures were not being applied across the business."
August 31, 2006 -- The United States Postal Service Sales Department presents the USPS Vendor Village at the Riviera Hotel & Convention Center Thursday, October 5, 2006 12:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. USPS is setting the stage to grow your business, improve customer satisfaction and create new business relationships. The USPS Vendor Village will be host to over 100 exhibitors and over 800 USPS Sales Professionals in a closed-event environment.
August 31, 2006 -- According to Gibbons Stamp Monthly, "Hungary Post are to launch a selection of prepaid envelopes and postcards on 1st September in order to make sending mail simpler. The items are not marked with a specific value which means that the products will still be valid despite any changes to postal rates in the future."
August 31, 2006 -- UPS Airline pilots represented by the Independent Pilots Association today ratified an eight-year labor agreement that runs through 2011. The 2,623 members who voted ratified the contract by a 13 percent margin, 56.5% to 43.5%. The contract covers 2,775 captains, first officers and flight engineers working for UPS Airlines.
August 31, 2006 -- According to Union Network International, "The President of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe Vélez, hit hard again on the Colombian trade union movement. At that exact time, through an executive order, he made public that he will wind up the Administración Postal Nacional (National Postal Administration - Adpostal), a public service institution created over a century ago."
August 31, 2006 -- The Irish Examiner has reported that "The union which represents post masters has claimed the sector is at crisis point, and it is calling on both the Minister for Communications and An Post to take action. The IPU says action is needed soon if post offices are to be saved. General Secretary John Kane says postmasters can't meet the cost of running their offices, are now resigning on a daily basis."
August 31, 2006 -- The PostalNews.com blog has reported that the Federal Times editorial staff have said the "Potter and the leadership of the Postal Service have a choice to make now. The IG report documents a strong case, depicting a public official who ran amok with his official credit card, sexually harassed fellow employees and abused his trusted position. If Potter doesn't think that merits criminal or other punitive action, perhaps it is time for a new leadership team to take charge of the U.S. Postal Service."
August 31, 2006 -- According to the Creative Bulletin, "While big players in the UK rentals market such as Amazon and Blockbuster are seeing their online market shares increase, the pure online rentals model is proving the most cost-effective. The fast pace of technology makes the postal-delivery method more likely to be superseded by more advanced forms of distribution in the future. Films are being downloaded through TV service operators such as Sky and NTL, for example, which must represent by far the most convenient method of delivering films to consumers."
August 31, 2006 -- According to Die Welt, "A spokeswoman for Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, announced yesterday that her company was determined to keep Postbank, its banking subsidiary, for the foreseeable future. The announcement put an end to speculation regarding a potential sale of Germany's largest retail bank."
August 31, 2006 -- China Daily has reported that "Dutch postal services group TNT announced yesterday it will focus on express and postal services in China after it agreed to sell its logistics arm."
August 31, 2006 -- The Gulf Times has reported that "Q-POST'S role in taking the lead to improve the quality of mail handling among member countries of the Arab Postal Union (APU) has come in for praise from two visiting Universal Postal Union (UPU) consultants. T B Reddy and Lars Vesterlund, the two quality consultants of the apex body of global postal corporations, were in Qatar on an invitation from the postal authorities."
August 31, 2006 -- The Postal Rate Commission has approved an agreement to settle Docket No. MC2006-5 regarding "Periodicals Nominal Rate Minor Classification Change."
August 31, 2006 -- The Daily Mail has reported that "Royal Mail has been accused of cynically manipulating customers by claiming they might not receive vital information if they opt out of junk mail. Householders wanting to end the mountains of unsolicited letters that land on the doormat are being warned they risk missing important notices from local and central government. These could include public health warnings such as how to deal with an outbreak of bird flu or Home Office advice about terrorist threats. But yesterday the independent consumer body Postwatch described the threat - which angry customers say is blackmail - as 'completely untrue'."
August 31, 2006 -- According to Liberal.ca, "Liberal Critic for Crown Corporations John McKay is once again calling on Conservative Minister of Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities Lawrence Cannon to stand up for Canadian small businesses that rely on Canada Post's services to mail products to the United States. "Despite the public outcry Canada Post is still going ahead with its plans to introduce a new "light packet" service for all light weight non-paper items, hiking its rates by up to 100% of the current letter mail service prices," said Mr. McKay. "This kind of price gouging by a Crown Corporation is irresponsible and disappointing. It reflects a certain level of indifference towards Canadians."
August 31, 2006 -- According to Murray B. Comarow, a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, Many hospitals have Morbidity and Mortality conferences, "M&Ms" in medical jargon, to review the treatment of patients who die. These sessions constitute a continuous learning process, helping physicians detect ineffective and counter-productive procedures. An M&M conference on the reasons the postal reform patient died would be an interesting experiment. I'd guess it would end up with multiple finger-pointing, with no agreement on root causes. On that somber assumption, I will take a shot at explaining why the eleven-year postal reform effort, which seems about to expire, has dissolved into disarray. It took a long time and many forces to achieve this unfortunate result."
August 31, 2006 -- According to Multichannel Merchant, "With Congress back from its summer recess next week, direct marketers will not have to wait long on the prospects of a postal reform bill."
August 30, 2006 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "DHL Express, the third-largest express carrier in the U.S. package competition, already had an 18 percent surcharge in effect for August. Its September fuel fee will be 19 percent. All three major overnight parcel carriers that compete in the United States have now said they were hiking their air fuel surcharges by a full percentage point in September."
August 30, 2006 -- The Business Standard has reported that "The industry ministry has said the proposed amendment to the Postal Bill, giving the department of posts the exclusive right over delivering letters weighing below 300 gm, was not justified. The ministry also said that the levy of 10 per cent on the turnover of courier companies was not a correct move. The ministry pointed out that the department of posts reached the remotest locations, unlike private courier operators."
August 30, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Deutsche Post's CEO Klaus Zumwinkel does not accept defeat in the mail monopoly battle. In an interview with German daily "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" (26.08), Mr Zumwinkel declared that he expected the government to postpone the opening of the market, should other EU member states refuse to accept a binding liberalisation date.
Post Danmark achieved considerable growth with a 23% increase in net profit during the first half 2006 (89.1m euros). On the other hand, earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell by 5.7% compared to the first half 2005 to 99.3m euros. The turnover went up by 2.7% to 801.7m euros (780.9m euros).
The Norwegian post experienced a definite drop in result before tax during the first half 2006 to 69.8m euros (101.9m euros first half 2005) . The figures represent a 32% decline. The post said the causes were to be found in the discontinuation of state commissions and losses in the banking segment.
Hamburg-based mail order group Otto is looking to intensify competition with Deutsche Post.
Contrary to information published earlier this year, Deutsche Post will not buy back its own shares. In an interview with "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" daily, chairman and CEO Klaus Zumwinkel said considerations regarding the matter had been put on hold. Instead, the post intends to increase its hare price through higher dividends.
Posta Slovenife is working on a privatisation strategy, although a corresponding decision from the country's government is lacking as yet.
The Spanish postal workers' union is fighting privatisation of the post.
An Post will pay 20m euros in outstanding arrears payments to staff and pensioners.
Fred W Smith, FedEx founder and chairman, does not foresee a successful development for DHL in the US market.
Only days after initial concrete rumours appeared did TNT sell its logistics segment to a private equity investor. US investors Apollo Management struck the deal by overbidding French investors PAI Partner at the last minute.
FedEx is set to take over its Chinese joint venture partner Tianjin Datian W. Group Co. Ltd. (DTW) at the beginning of next year.
time:matters, which claims to specialise in courier, same-day and emergency logistics, is considering an extension of its services into Switzerland.
A brief test of Austrian parcel services commissioned by the country's Chamber of Labour has revealed performance deficits.
According to newspaper reports, Indian CEP service provider DTDC and China's Kerry Logistics have signed a co-operation agreement. The partners intend to offer express services between India and China from 1 September.
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.
August 30, 2006 -- The Federal Times has reported: "Do you need to increase the tax withholdings from your paycheck, add a dependent to your life insurance beneficiaries, or increase your contributions to your Thrift Saving Plan account? Or do you want to check out job opportunities at your office or elsewhere in the U.S. Postal Service? By the end of this month, Postal Service employees will be able to do all of the above simply by logging on to their home computers or one of 400 computers at kiosks in larger postal facilities throughout the country."
August 30, 2006 -- The Rogers Hometown News told its readers that "Newspapers will be stuck with an enormous rate increase next year for mail delivery because the postmaster general doesn't want his child to have to work for a mere $ 36 an hour. To Potter, the biggest price increase in history is justified not because the postal service is doing a better job (it isn't ) but because postal workers deserve higher wages. That 1 cent per second wage — which calculates to $ 36 an hour or about $ 75, 000 a year — just isn't high enough."
August 30, 2006 -- From PR Web: "Why is the United States Postal Service, USPS spending billions of dollars to automate product handling and logistics across the nation? Because it's committed to being the final delivery services for media, books, mail order prescription and other small parcels for the home and businesses delivery service. Their business continues to mushroom and their expanding "small parcel" shipment volume presents $100's of millions in new business opportunity to existing mail pre-sort and parcel processing centers that jump on board and take advantage of this market opportunity."
August 30, 2006 -- LetsRecycle.com has reported that "The amount of junk mail delivered to householders looks set to increase dramatically, with an agreement expected this week to scrap existing limits. It emerged today that the Communication Workers' Union, which represents all staff in the Royal Mail, is in talks to abolish the three-items-per-week limit on the delivery of "unaddressed" mailings. These are mailings that send publicity to "the occupier", rather than a named individual at household addresses."
August 30, 2006 -- The Retail Bulletin has reported that "Nearly one in three Postal Orders sold are now being used to pay for goods bought by online and home shoppers. The Post Office® has calculated that £104 million worth of Postal Orders will be sold to fund the UK's online and home shopping boom this year."
August 30, 2006 -- WTSP has reported that "The U-S Postal Service has announced plans to close a postal center in Tampa in March. A mail processing center in Fayetteville, North Carolina, will also close that month. The agency has closed 43 of its 55 remote encoding centers since 1999 because of improvements in technology. Automated equipment can now read more than 90 percent of mail. Meanwhile, the Postal Service is expanding a facility in Charleston, West Virginia, and plans to hire more than 100 workers there. The Charleston facility currently employs 350 workers who manually read addresses that automated machines cannot read."
August 30, 2006 -- From the Federal Register: "The Postal Rate Commission has determined that Stamped Stationery the Postal Service offers to the general public meets the definition of a ``postal service.'' This order institutes a mail classification docket for the purpose of developing classification language and a fee schedule for Stamped Stationery. Conducting this docket will allow interested persons to participate in developing appropriate classification provisions and fees."
August 30, 2006 -- According to the New York Times, "The decision by the Federal Reserve to stop raising interest rates earlier this month was "a close call," according to minutes of the Fed's Aug. 8 policy-setting meeting that were released yesterday. The minutes show committee members debating whether the economy was already slowing down enough to contain inflation, and not reaching an unequivocal conclusion."
August 30, 2006 -- The Telegraph has reported that "The Royal Mail is failing to give customers sufficient information on how to avoid receiving its junk mail deliveries."
August 30, 2006 -- Dublin People has reported that "An Post has strongly denied allegations that plans to remodel the postal service will be to the detriment of working class areas on the Southside. Mail delivery in Ballyfermot will be affected from this week as routes are redesigned. The changes to the service have been met with criticism from Sinn Fein, who claim that An Post's plans are part of a larger scheme to downgrade services in working class areas."
August 30, 2006 -- According to the Daily Mail, "A junk mail revolt was underway last night as Royal Mail was accused of blackmailing millions of householders into receiving unwanted post on their doormat every morning. Customers driven to distraction by the daily flood through their letterbox have been flocking to an opt-out offered by the postal giant whcih promises to weed out junk mail. But they have been angered by a letter sent by Royal Mail to applicants which contains a veiled threat that if they decide they do not want to receive unwanted post they will miss out on key Government information too."
August 30, 2006 -- In a letter to the editor of the Washington Post [see below], Mail & Jobs Coalition executive director Peter Miller wrote that "According to its 2005 annual report, the Washington Post consumed 350,600,000 pounds of newsprint (175,300 tons). Divided among 694,100 daily subscribers that works out to 505.11 pounds per reader per year. It's absurd, of course, to value either the Post or the mailstream on the basis of poundage -- a standard of common sense Mr. Kelly easily ignores."
August 30, 2006 -- According to the New Standard, "With the United States Postal Service on a financial upswing, its workers are looking to leave an era of concessions behind." Upswing?? What upswing?
August 30, 2006 -- The Peterborough Evening Telegraph has reported that "ROYAL Mail is urging more small businesses who use postage meters to take advantage of a £30 million discount by resetting meters to reflect a price reduction, following the introduction of the new pricing system."
August 30, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL has announced it has broken ground on a new, modernized service centre operation near O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, IL. DHL will invest $7 million in the new 78,960-sq.-ft facility, which will serve DHL's local pickup, delivery and sorting operations. The new DHL Chicago service centre is expected to be operational by early 2007."
August 29, 2006 -- Workforce Management has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is reaching the first milestones in streamlining its HR operations in an initiative called PostalPeople. The USPS has integrated 73 of its 80 districts into a shared services center handling benefits, retirement, separation and management hiring."
August 29, 2006 -- From the Washington Post: "Junk Mail Weighs on Their Minds."
August 29, 2006 -- American Postal Workers Union William Burrus told his members that "An editorial by Gene Del Polito, president of PostCom, has been widely distributed in the postal community, and has elicited a range of commentary. I have responded directly to the initial editorial and intend to include my response in the next issue of the APWU bimonthly magazine. But it is important that I also explain to the membership the logic behind the APWU's general position on labor/management/mailer issues."
August 29, 2006 -- According to The Recorder, "Yet another opportunity has arrived to try and decide whether the Post Office really does operate in its own never-never world because, lo, and behold, it has announced that it is making yet another strike, the first since, hold your breath, May 1, 2004 with a new pricing schedule to be unveiled on 4th September 2006."
August 28, 2006 -- Easy Bourse has reported that "Japan Post said Monday it will nearly double the number of post offices offering customers investment trusts to 1,155, starting Oct. 2, the Kyodo News Agency reported. In addition, the government-backed postal services provider will begin enabling holders of accounts for investment trusts to make additional purchases and cancel or alter the type of investment tool via the phone or Internet next year, the news agency said. Japan Post has described sales of investment trusts as one of the revenue pillars for postal savings banks and over-the-counter service providers at its nationwide offices, which will be created when its 10-year privatization process starts in October 2007, Kyodo said."
August 28, 2006 -- From the U.S. Newswire: "The head of the National Association of Letter Carriers urged the U.S. Postal Service today at the opening of contract negotiations to build on an improved labor relations climate and reward letter carriers with a "fair" wage increase and continued benefits for helping it become a profitable and productive government agency. NALC President William H. Young noted that the Postal Service has eliminated the debt of $11.3 billion it had in 2001 when the current contract began. The Postal Service has turned an $8.4 billion profit over the past three years, he added. "Letter carriers expect to be rewarded for their contributions to the success of the Postal Service," Young said."
August 28, 2006 -- The Economic Times has reported that "The grand old department of posts and telegraphs will soon be opening its doors to the private sector. For the first time in its century-old history, the postal department is planning to allow private participation in day-to-day core operations. According to sources, the first privatisation bid of the department will consist of appointing a network of franchisees in more than a dozen catchment areas. The idea of privatising parts of postal services was moved for the first time by the ministry of communications and information technology around March last year. After several rounds of discussions, the ministry is now learnt to be keen on adopting franchising as a model. "The government is looking at franchising as an optimum option to expand access to basic postal facilities without increasing dependence on budgetary resources," according to an India Post official."
August 28, 2006 -- The Gloucester Citizen has reported that "Royal Mail is urging all bus-inesses to reset their meters and franking machines to share in a £30 million postal price reduction. The new pricing structure, which was launched last Mon-day, includes a 1p reduction of the price of first class post for meter users."
August 28, 2006 -- The Jamaica Gleaner has reported that "The recent terrorist plot to blow up several aircraft in the United Kingdom and the rising demand for global security may eventually influence changes in mail regulations regarding content and packaging. Acting Postmaster General/CEO Michael Gentles has warned. Speaking to The Gleaner/Power 106FM News Centre, he indicated that one possible development on the heels of the foiled bomb plot is that all packages intended for the mail may be subject to visual scrutiny."
August 28, 2006 -- di-ve news has noted that "At the beginning of July, the European Commission published a study undertaken at its request by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in order to assess, in each member state, the impact on the universal postal provision of a full liberalisation in 2009. Based on the conclusions of this study, the Commission shall submit by 31 December 2006 "a report to the European Parliament and the Council accompanied by a proposal confirming, if appropriate, the date of 2009 for the full accomplishment of the postal internal market or determining any other step in the light of the study's conclusions". The PWC survey states that the opening of the market will have a significant impact on the operator providing the universal service as well as on the universal postal service itself in most of the member states."
August 28, 2006 -- Gulf News has reported that "Emirates Post has announced that registered mail will carry barcode instead of postage stamps, starting from September 1, to automate and speed up registered mail. During a one-month trial period, customers will have the option of using stamps or barcode, provided they pay extra for the stamps. However, from October 1, barcodes will be compulsory on all registered mail."
August 27, 2006 -- According to The Economist, "Of all the "old" media, newspapers have the most to lose from the internet. Circulation has been falling in America, western Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand for decades (elsewhere, sales are rising). But in the past few years the web has hastened the decline. Advertising is following readers out of the door."
August 27, 2006 -- PostalNews.com editor Brian Sheehan has asked: "Why do postal employees hate their customers? I know that many of the commenters would protest that it isn't their customers that they hate, it's the Big Mailers. Which is one of those strange things about the postal service. Why do union heads like Bill Burrus seem to despise the people who are paying most of their salaries? The most obvious answer seems to be simple short-sightedness."
August 27, 2006 -- As the Boston Globe has noted, "As a cavalcade of other companies have joined Netflix by shipping various discs through the mail, the mailbox has become a central part of the home entertainment ecosystem, along with the flat-screen TV, the DVD player, the PlayStation, and the stereo."
August 27, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "FedEx Express, operator of the world's largest cargo airline, has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with its pilots."
August 27, 2006 -- In a letter addressed to the President of PostCom, American Postal Workers Union President William Burrus wrote: "I read your PostCom editorial dated Aug. 17, 2006, and have elected to respond. I attribute your failure to understand the objectives of the American Postal Workers Union to my communication skills - or lack thereof - and take full responsibility. But because your opinions are circulated widely and are well-read, I believe it is important to address your concerns."
August 27, 2006 -- As the Orlando Sentinel has noted, "The grandiose package that was passed into law this month supposedly will fix the arcane system so companies no longer promise to provide pensions they can't deliver. But many of the provisions have transformed baffling calculations into perplexing ones. It's clear some companies are going to have to pump in millions of dollars to bolster their pension plans."
August 27, 2006 -- The Telegraph has reported that "Royal Mail has embarked on a wholesale clear-out of its property portfolio. The move is part of the group's attempt to become more commercial in the wake of the opening up of the postal market to competition earlier this year. It is looking to dispose of 130 of its disused post offices, sub post offices and delivery centres that are loss making. It will also transfer of ownership of a further 180 properties to a commercial buyer. The move comes after Royal Mail executives revealed that a commercially viable postal network would comprise just 4,000 post offices, compared with the current 14,500."
August 27, 2006 -- The Times has reported that "AN POST, the postal and retail group, has agreed to pay €20m in arrears owed to its employees under the last national pay agreement. The chief executive Donal Connell's move to end a long-running dispute is a softening of the line adopted by his predecessor, Donal Curtin."
August 27, 2006 -- According to the Boston Globe, "It seems that nearly everyone in Britain has a horror story to tell about the country's beleaguered postal service, the Royal Mail. Bashing Royal Mail has become something of a sport in Britain, with such websites as Hellmail.co.uk springing up to organize the resentment. But change is afoot, as the postal service is being pushed and pulled into the world of competition."
August 26, 2006 -- According to the Montreal Gazette, "Workers at Canada Post's mechanized sorting centre in Quebec City are still smarting four weeks after the operation's closing and relocation to Montreal."
August 26, 2006 -- Traffic World has reported that "The two biggest players in the U.S. express package market, FedEx Express and UPS, both said they will push their fuel surcharges for overnight air parcels to 17 percent in September, from 16 percent now. DHL Express, the third-largest firm in the U.S. package competition, has not yet announced its September fee but has an 18 percent surcharge in effect for August."
August 26, 2006 -- According to the Louisville Business Journal, "Before there was Worldport, United Parcel Service Inc.'s star on the Louisville map was the Ashbottom Road facility where packages are sorted for truck transport. But times change, and the world's largest shipper needs more room for Worldport, its largest international shipping hub, located at Louisville International Airport. To clear room for the $1 billion Worldport expansion Atlanta-based UPS announced in May, UPS plans to relocate work done at the 941-employee Ashbottom Road ground hub." Notice how you don't read that "UPS employees are aghast, and are conducting a letter writing campaign to their Members of Congress."
August 26, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "Hearst Corp. on Friday said it will stop publishing its magazines SHOP Etc. and Weekend, saying that they failed to meet performance metrics the company set for them. Hearst, one of the largest U.S. magazine publishers, said that SHOP Etc. will cease after its October issue and Weekend after its September issue. The company also cited challenging economic conditions, a tough newsstand environment and rising paper and postal costs. The announcement follows the closure of several other print magazine titles by Lagardere's Hachette Filipacchi Media, privately-held Conde Nast and Time Warner Inc.'s Time Inc. Hachette and Time Inc. both canceled print titles aimed at teenaged girls but continue to feature them on the Internet."
August 26, 2006 -- The minutes of the August 2006 meeting of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee have been posted on this site. You also can find the presentations given at this MTAC meeting on the Postal Service's RIBBS web site.
August 26, 2006 -- Easy Bourse has reported that "Argentina has extended the deadline for returning the country's postal company to private control for the fourth time in two years. There is little indication that the government is seeking buyers or that it will relinquish state control of a service it acquired under what was officially described as a short-term "transitional" arrangement in November 2004. According to a decree published Friday in the Official Bulletin, the new date for calling a public tender for Correo Argentino is now July 31, 2007. The old deadline had been June 30, 2006."
August 25, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
August 25, 2006 -- WHOI has reported that "Thousands of unemployment checks have been lost. For the second time this year, the U.S. Postal Service has misplaced money heading to out-of-work residents in Illinois."
August 25, 2006 -- WRAL has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service will close a facility in Fayetteville in February 2007, eliminating 189 jobs. The Remote Encoding Center opened as a temporary site in 1994. At the facility, workers manually read addresses that computers can't read. However, officials said that improved technology has created mail-sorting machines that can read virtually all addresses, eliminating the need for the human help."
August 25, 2006 -- The Mailers Council, the largest coalition of mailers and mailing associations, has released a new research paper outlining the benefits of a standard implementation period of at least 90 days, longer in more complicated cases, when the Postal Service raises postage rates.
August 25, 2006 -- In an order issued by the Postal Rate Commission in the matter of Stamped Stationery, the PRC said that "Based upon a review of the record, the Commission concludes that stamped stationery is a postal service. The Commission will initiate a mail classification proceeding for the purpose of receiving a request from the Postal Service to establish a classification and fee schedule for stamped stationery. The Commission identifies stamped stationery as a candidate for new, flexible pricing techniques. The Postal Service is urged to explore such options, although the proceeding will sunset if a request is not received in timely fashion."
August 25, 2006 -- Posted below are new reports that have been posted on the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General website. If you have additional questions concerning the report, please contact Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.
August 24, 2006 -- KOLD-TV has reported that "The U-S Postal Service is phasing out its take-a-number system for post office customers. It says simply waiting in line for the next available clerk saves more time. It's already removed the numbered-ticket system from post offices in Tucson, and it plans to do so statewide in the coming weeks." Give credit where credit is due. The branch dumped a dumb practice when they knew it wasn't working.
August 24, 2006 -- According to the Arizona Star, "If you're heading to the post office, don't expect your number to be called. Local U.S. Postal Service branches cut out the numbered-ticket system Monday, opting to make customers stand in line and wait their turn. The line system will take effect at post offices statewide in the coming weeks. Before Monday, each postal customer would take a number slip and wait to be called by employees."
August 24, 2006 -- The Financial Express has reported that "Revenue of Indian postal services has increased to Rs 4431.85 crore in 2004-05 from Rs 3297 crore in 2000-01, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday. Replying to supplementaries, Minister for Communication and IT Dayanidhi Maran said while volumes of ordinary mail have reduced due to advent of technology (emails and cheaper telephone calls), the Indian post has registered increase in revenues on back of higher traffic of business post."
August 24, 2006 -- According to the Euro Weekly, "ANGRY traders in Mallorca claim their businesses are under threat because of poor summer postal services on the island. Some claim they have not had any deliveries in more than a fortnight – even though they are expecting cheques and bills to arrive. They also claim the post office is losing valuable items and accuse postal workers of failing to deliver parcels and letters."
August 24, 2006 -- KRIS-TV has reported that "A former postal worker who was caught with thousands of pieces of stolen, undelivered mail in a motel room has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison."
August 24, 2006 -- As The Guardian noted:
August 24, 2006 -- As the Financial Times has noted, "I haven't yet attempted to post a letter under the new size and weight pricing regime, but since it seems that many post offices aren't too clear on the rules I can imagine the chaos that is about to be unleashed. Not so much for senders of letters, but for recipients of correspondence deemed to have been incorrectly stamped. It's particularly annoying to get one of those cards inviting you trek to the sorting office (opening hours to suit them, not you) to collect and pay (£1 plus the underpayment on the stamp) for a letter without knowing from whom it came."
August 24, 2006 -- From U.S. Newswire: "Contract negotiations covering wages and benefits for 224,411 city delivery letter carriers in all 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions begin on Monday, Aug. 28 when the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) (AFL-CIO) and the U.S. Postal Service open bargaining on a new National Agreement. The current five-year contract expires Nov. 20."
August 24, 2006 -- Negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the APWU and the USPS are scheduled to begin Aug. 29, 2006, union President William Burrus has announced. Management and union officials are expected to present opening statements and establish a schedule for future meetings. The current contract expires Nov. 20.
August 23, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Poste Italiane has been ordered to pay a 1.6m euros fine. Following intensive deliberation, Italy's competition authority Autorit Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato last week decided to impose the fine, having found that the post had abused its dominating position in the mail market.
German daily "Neues Deutschland" reports (18.08) that Deutsche Post is planning to rearrange working hours for postmen and women in metropolitan areas. In future, delivery staff will only work a 19.5-hour week as part of a quality improvement programme.
Royal Mail is looking for senior managers who are prepared to leave the company of their own accord. Since August, the British post has written to 4,000 senior mangers - around one third of all Royal Mail managers - offering them a pay-off. The post's long-term aim is to reduce costs.
Spain's post Correos has confirmed it has plans for international expansion. The concept seems to focus on the South American market and the mail segment.
Private German mail service provider Porto sparen I'm Norden ("Save postage in the North") has come under fire from trade union Ver.di. In a new campaign, the union criticises the working conditions within the company and most notably the fact that employees are not paid an hourly wage but earn according to the number of consignments they deliver.
German business magazine "Wirtschaftswoche" published further details concerning Xanto, the new arrival in the German mail market (CEP News 32-33/06). According to the magazine, former logistics manager and business consultant Christian Holland-Moritz has joined forces with five medium-sized German carriers: Cretschmar Logistik, Honold, G.L. Kayser, Diehl and Militzer & M nch. These companies were among the founding members of DPD and German Parcel service providers.
UPS subsidiary Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE) intends to follow up the extension of its German franchise network with the same action throughout Austria.
Indiapost intends to follow the trend and enter the banking business.
Royal Mail's European parcel network GLS is successful in setting up service points in the Netherlands.
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.
August 23, 2006 -- The Business Journal of Jacksonville has reported that TNT N.V., the Dutch parent company of TNT Logistics North America, has agreed to sell its worldwide logistics business to an international private equity firm for $1.9 billion. The sale completes TNT's strategy to exit the logistics industry and focus on its higher yielding European postal and global parcel express businesses. David Kulik, CEO of Jacksonville-based TNT Logistics North America and group managing director of the global logistics division, will become CEO of the new company when the sale to Apollo Management L.P. is completed. There is no word on what the new company will be called." See also Easy Bourse.
August 23, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "For six decades, the U.S. Postal Service and Highlights for Children, Inc. have delighted young readers in America by delivering 1 billion copies of Highlights for Children magazine to help children become their best selves. This achievement was celebrated today as both organizations presented the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum with one of the very first copies of the magazine, printed in June 1946, and a copy from the 1 billionth print run of the August 2006 issue, printed in June. The magazines will be preserved at the museum where they will complement the museum's existing anthology of significant postal history, publications and philatelic collections."
August 23, 2006 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "The APWU behaves as if it sees no social redeeming value whatever in network realignment. Their opposition to facility evaluation and the prospects of employee redeployments is more knee-jerk than well-reasoned. It would seem that the APWU is willing to accept nothing less than status quo. Of course, you'd never know that it's mindful that status quo will come at a cost that ultimately will harm the very constituents it says it represents."
August 23, 2006 -- PostWatch has posted on its site a summary of Royal Mail's service performance scores.
August 23, 2006 -- According to Handelsblatt, "Five German hauliers are planning to compete with German postal services group Deutsche Post on the German market for letter services. Diehl, Militzer & Munch, Honold, G.L. Kayser and Cretschmar Cargo have set up Xanto, a Munich-based letter transportation network. Xanto will provide nationwide transportation of letters, but will leave the actual delivery to regional service providers. Management said that it would offer its services at prices lower than Deutsche Post."
August 23, 2006 -- The National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the U.S. Postal Service have started their collective bargaining process.
August 23, 2006 -- The Japan Times has reported that "Japan Post said Monday it will start selling customized photo stamps Sept. 1 to try to promote postal mail amid a steady rise in e-mail traffic."
August 23, 2006 -- Gulf Times has reported that "THE Qatar National Bank (QNB) has signed an agreement with Qatar General Organisation for Standards and Metrology, Urban Planning and Development Authority and Real Estate Registration Department enabling customers to pay fees and other charges electronically through Points of Sales (POS). The benefits of using e-cards include eliminating the need for postal stamps, facilitating the accounting process, solving the problem of authentication, introducing an ideal payment method for company representatives and holders of large amounts of money and reducing the burden of conducting manual calculations."
August 23, 2006 -- Card Technology has reported that "PostFinance, the online-banking division of Swiss Post, Switzerland's postal service, plans to distribute large numbers of smart card readers to its customers next year. A spokesperson for Vasco Data Security International, Inc., the U.S.-Belgian company that will provide the readers, says PostFinance will use the devices to authenticate the identity of customers who conduct transactions through the bank's Web site."
August 22, 2006 -- According to Socialist Worker Online, "Over 1,000 Royal Mail workers in four distribution centres across England have voted in favour of industrial action against heavy-handed management handling of changes to mail circulation."
August 22, 2006 -- Easy Bourse has reported that "Buyout firm Apollo Management LP is on the verge of capturing the logistics unit of Dutch postal and express mail company TNT NV after an eleventh-hour trumping of bid favorite PAI Partners of France." See also MSNBC.
August 22, 2006 -- Be sure to check the PostInsight web site. There you can find two new background papers that form part of Pitney Bowes "Electronic Substitution for Mail" research program.
August 22, 2006 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) is to present for approval by the Council of Ministers a proclamation draft prepared by the Ethiopian Telecommunications Agency (ETA). The proclamation is to re-establish the ETA as the Ethiopian Communications Authority. As an authority, it will not only be regulating the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC), which the agency has been doing since its creation in 1996, but will also monitor the Express Mailing Service (EMS) and the Ethiopian Postal Service (EPS)."
August 22, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "Teradata, a division of NCR Corporation, has announced that China Post Express Mail Service (EMS) Bureau has selected Teradata's active data warehouse as the foundation for its new track-and-trace system. The new system will help make China Post competitive with the world's leading express delivery companies in terms of quality of service and core business competencies."
August 22, 2006 -- From the U.S. Postal Service: "Postmaster General Jack Potter has announced that Al Iniguez, recently named Executive Director, Energy Initiatives, will be retiring in October. Julie Rios has been selected to replace Iniguez in his new post. Rios is currently completing a two-year assignment as Market and Quality Director for the International Post Corporation. Prior to that, her assignments included Product Information Requirements Manager and acting Postmaster of Columbus, OH."
August 22, 2006 -- Be sure to check out the WindowBook postal blog. It does a nice job of sharing some very useful information with its users.
August 22, 2006 -- According to Butler Mailing Services president Todd Butler, "Optical disks in the mail were initially perceived by postal management as a short term volume boost, an oddity. When problems arose in the automated processing of DVDs, operation managers were told by USPS marketing to deal with the mail they were presented. If that meant manual processing was required for some segments of this mail stream, then operations needed to provide the necessary services. The resulting costs from processing this non-automated mail (accepted at automated letter rates) have been built into the base costs used to establish the proposed First Class rates."
August 22, 2006 -- As the Economist has noted, "Amazon is highly secretive about its plans, but the online industry expects it soon to launch a service for downloading films and television shows. Anyone tell Netflix? Guess that'll mean fewer DVDs in the mail. Of course, with the way the Postal Service wants to price this stuff, it would be leaving the mail anyway.
August 22, 2006 -- According to Business Week's chief economist, "The biggest danger is a slowdown in productivity growth. Currently productivity is rising at roughly a 2.5% rate on a year-over-year basis. If it continues at that pace, then the Fed's task of avoiding a deep and prolonged recession becomes relatively easy, since the economy and incomes will keep growing even if employment dips a bit. But if productivity growth slows, then even a mild drop in jobs can cause production to fall and start feeding on itself." Productivity growth over at the Postal Service is VITAL to keeping postal rates within the bounds of inflation. Wonder if the unions know that.
August 22, 2006 -- From PR Newswire: "Historically, companies have distributed paper-based compensation plans with an accompanying cover letter via postal mail to individual sales reps and required them to review them and indicate with a signature whether they accepted or declined the plans. This approach is inefficient and time- consuming as overburdened compensation administrators struggle to first distribute the plans and then chase down completed plans in order to archive them. This process then repeats itself annually, and in some instances more frequently, with hundreds if not thousands of individual comp plans. Now Informatica can manage this process entirely online within Xactly Incent."
August 22, 2006 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users has alerted its members about an upcoming meeting where Canada Post and the mailing industry will present and review the impact of the 2007 rate case and process, as well as the strategic development of all major postal products and services. If you do business in Canada, this is a vital session you won't want to miss. Register today!
August 22, 2006 -- According to The Chattanoogan, "The Outdoor Wire reported on a confrontation between Zazzle, an online marketer that sells customized postage stamps as an "official licensed vendor" for the U.S. Postal Service, and REACT Consulting Group of Olympia, Washington. REACT boss Ed Owens wrote Postmaster General John Potter protesting Zazzle's acceptance of stamps that supported the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) while simultaneously rejecting a stamp that called sportsmen "America's first conservationists." The reasoning behind the rejection was the reason Owens was so steamed."
August 22, 2006 -- According to the Atlanta Business Journal, "UPS is back in federal court with the Internal Revenue Service. Three years after finishing a protracted legal battle over the taxable value and ownership of an operating subsidiary, United Parcel Service Inc. is requesting a $21 million to $41 million refund on its 1994 income tax."
August 22, 2006 -- Scoop has reported that "QAS, a leading supplier of address management solutions, is expanding its Asia Pacific presence by opening an office in New Zealand. Located in Auckland, the new office will be headed up by Angela Buckley, business development manager, New Zealand who will be reporting into Glenn Parker, managing director, QAS, Asia Pacific. As part of its launch, QAS has signed a strategic alliance with NZ Post to gain access to its Postal Address File (PAF), a database of 1.8 million addresses which will enable QAS to cleanse and match addresses in its customers' enterprise databases to ensure they are accurate and compliant. One of the reasons QAS has established the office is because of New Zealand Post's new four-digit postcode system. This system creates significant opportunities for QAS to assist local companies in converting their customer databases."
August 22, 2006 -- The Detroit News has reported that "Since Kurt Skarjune moved to the Mystic Forest subdivision in Commerce Township in 2003, it seems as though he has received everyone else's mail but his own. "I've been conscientious about returning the stacks of mail delivered to me that aren't mine, but I can't say the same for anyone else," Skarjune said. "It is very frustrating, especially in this day and age with identity theft being so prevalent. After learning other neighbors were facing similar problems, Skarjune contacted Walled Lake Postmaster Rosemarie Tarwacki. Skarjune contacted Ken Rogers with the U.S. Postal Service's Consumer Affairs and Claims Office because he felt his efforts at the local post office were futile. "It was the same story there," he said. "The problem would cease for a couple weeks, then creep back up."
August 22, 2006 -- According to the Express & Star, "The Royal Mail has come in for a fair amount of criticism over the way it has introduced new postal charges - and the reasons for them. On the one hand, the posties are saying that charging for mail by size rather than weight alone will not bring them any more money. But on the other hand, why would any organisation implement a sea-change in its pricing strategy and spend presumably hundreds of thousands of pounds publicising the fact if they were going to lose out financially?" See also The Times
August 22, 2006 -- EDP24.co.uk has reported that "So for those accustomed to the interminable and seemingly motionless lunchtime wait to send a package, renew car tax or pay a bill, anything which could delay the process further is bound to be greeted with trepidation. Perhaps then it is unsurprising that, as Royal Mail's new charges were introduced, a spokesman for the Communication Workers' Union, which represents postal workers, warned of "post rage" as people struggle to get to grips with it." See also the Oxford Mail.
August 22, 2006 -- Thanh Nien News has reported that "FedEx, the world's largest express delivery company, has been appointed a Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) affiliate as an authorized agent in Vietnam. Under the three-year contract, Post Office Express Joint Stock Company (PCN) will mostly handle air cargo services for the US-based company which has had a presence in Vietnam for over a decade."
August 22, 2006 -- From the Federal Register: "The Postal Service proposes to require mailers to use polywrap film meeting one set of specifications when using polywrap on automation-rate flat-size mailpieces. Comments must be received on or before September 21, 2006."
August 22, 2006 -- According to Slate, "When higher costs squeeze them, most companies face two choices. They can raise their prices, risking the wrath of consumers and the loss of market share to cheaper competitors. Or they can sacrifice profits to keep prices steady and retain market share. But these days, some companies have found a third way: fuel surcharges."
August 22, 2006 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "New expectations are for slowing economic growth around the world, according to the latest World Economic Survey prepared by CESifo and the International Chamber of Commerce."
August 21, 2006 -- Material Handling Management has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is running low on pallets. An unprecedented shortage of plastic pallets used by bulk mailers has led Paul Vogel, v.p., network operations management, to find new ways to resolve this ongoing challenge. User awareness of the problem is one way Vogel plans to get the government's pallets back. Threat of arrest and conviction is another. Most of his tactics fall someplace between these two extremes."
August 21, 2006 -- GISUser has reported that "Ordnance Survey has announced the launch of a British Standard designed to improve the way street, land, property and address data is identified and indexed. BS 7666 : 2006 defines how information about locations should be supplied for IT systems so that it can be shared more easily across and among organisations. The standard builds on previous schema by introducing a new section on postal delivery points and offering greater flexibility for cross-referencing of all data through the notion of unique identifiers."
August 21, 2006 -- What do blue jeans, DVDs, moisturizer and athletic shoes have in common? They are among the American products that Chinese consumers desire most, according to a UPS survey of 1,200 middle-class consumers in six Chinese cities. The second annual UPS survey of Chinese urban consumers - often referred to as "Chuppies" - reaffirms their demand for high-quality U.S. products and unearths more detailed insight into their buying preferences and demographic differences. UPS, which flies to more points in China than any other U.S. airline, commissioned the survey to help its customers do business in the world's fastest-growing market. "The survey highlights the need for small-to-mid-sized businesses to be prepared and focused on exactly what it is they want to accomplish by entering ChinaThe most sought-after products in this year's survey were American videos/DVDs, music or books and consumer electronics - which also were the top categories in the 2005 survey. For full survey results and other information about doing business in China, log onto www.pressroom.ups.com/chinasurvey.
August 21, 2006 -- As the Wall Street Journal has noted, "The magazine industry has been struggling to attract dollars from advertisers who are chasing young people as they migrate from mainstream media to Web sites, cable television and niche publications. As media fragment, so do the advertising dollars away from industry stalwarts like Time and Newsweek. Lately, however, one of the reasons magazines have been willing to pour resources into their online operations is that advertisers have shown themselves willing to start spending money on the Web. Many magazine companies are hoping to sell package deals to advertisers both online and in print, with the notion that editors are creating content that will drive readers back and forth between the two."
August 21, 2006 -- The Hong Kong Information Service has reported that "Over 20 new gift sets will be available through the Hong Kong-Mainland Gift Fulfilment Service. They include flower bouquets, flower baskets and cakes, priced from $288 to $1,261 including delivery charges, to more 2,000 Mainland cities. Hongkong Post and China Post teamed up in 2004 to launch the service, which provides a convenient way of sending gift sets to the Mainland. Product catalogues and order forms are available at any post office. Completed forms can be returned to any post office, or by fax or post. Customers can also place orders via the Hongkong Post Internet shopping mall ShopThruPost."
August 21, 2006 -- According to the Financial Times, "Radical plans by Royal Mail to charge customers different rates according to the density of deliveries in each geographical area have been attacked by business. The dominant postal operator is today launching its biggest price overhaul in decades, which will charge customers according to the size, thickness and weight of mail, rather than just weight alone. But Royal Mail has also applied to Postcomm, the postal regulator, to extend zonal pricing to some bulk business mail from April, albeit with a six-month transition period."
August 21, 2006 -- The Guardian has reported that "Royal Mail says 80% of all mail would cost the same or less to send, but some prices would increase. Under the new system, called pricing in proportion (PiP), the mail will be split into three size categories: a standard letter envelope, an A4 envelope that will be known as a large letter, and a packet that will be charged accordingly. Royal Mail says it costs more to sort, handle and deliver big envelopes and packets, so light but bulky items were priced below cost, whereas heavy items were generally overpriced. PiP will apply only to 'domestic' postage - items posted within and to destinations in the UK. Royal Mail's international mail services are not affected. Other countries already use PiP, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, Japan and Germany."
August 21, 2006 -- The Azeez Jaffer story continues to reverberate. This time in USA Today.
August 20, 2006 -- As the Charlotte Observer has noted, "These mail handlers are prepared to deal with challenges a bit more extreme than unruly dogs and bad weather. Fifteen Army reservists of the 312th Adjutant General Company were honored at a mobilization service Saturday afternoon at a U.S. Army Retention Center in Charlotte as they prepared to depart for a yearlong tour of duty overseas. The soldiers, part of the 81st Regional Readiness Command, are in charge of processing and handling mail -- one of the biggest morale boosters for mobilized troops."
August 20, 2006 --"A prominent Qatari has called for privatising the country's mail services. Hasan Ibrahim al-Jifairi, in a letter addressed to the Qatar Postal Corporation, has sought the ending of monopoly in mail services. "Monopoly of mail services by Q-post is unjustified and is killing the spirit of competition", al-Jifairi, a former regional manager of Gulf Air, told Gulf Times."
August 19, 2006 -- The Guardian has reported that " Workers protested across the country and handed out thousands of leaflets against plans to close post offices and transfer services to WH Smith stores. Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which is already balloting hundreds of workers for industrial action over the move, and supporters picketed WH Smith stores across the country. They also urged shoppers to boycott the high street giant. Thousands of leaflets were handed out warning that staff will lose their jobs and be replaced by inexperienced employees on "poverty" wages."
August 19, 2006 -- From the Wall Street Journal: "Verizon Communications Inc. is considering an offer for its land lines in three New England states from FairPoint Communications Inc. as well as other bidders. Verizon, of New York, is looking to shed land lines that are expensive to maintain as it upgrades its network with fiber and starts selling Internet-based services rather than focusing on traditional phone service. Union officials have complained that any land-line sale will result in a decrease in customer service. They have rallied politicians to send letters to Verizon executives asking the company to keep the lines." [A union fighting a network redesign....Now that has a familiar ring to it.]
August 19, 2006 -- The Press and Journal wants to know: "The Royal Mail was something approaching a shambles before undergoing a radical overhaul in recent years, and is now exceeding its targets for both first and second-class deliveries. But should the management feel the need to shout it from the rooftops when it succeeds in doing only what it's supposed to?"
August 19, 2006 -- As the Journal Times put it: "With all fingers and toes crossed, Racine County is hoping to receive a really, really big package from the U.S. Postal Service — a package so big it would occupy 30 to 50 acres. The USPS plans to build a new regional distribution center that will handle all mail for Southeastern Wisconsin. The agency that stops at neither rain nor sleet, and sometimes not even at barking dogs, is looking for a site in this part of the state."
August 19, 2006 -- According to The Telegraph, "Post offices are not ready for Monday's revolutionary shift in the way that mail is priced, the Government's postal watchdog said yesterday. The decision to charge for mail based on size rather than weight could result in chaos at post offices, Postwatch said." See also the BBC.
August 18, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
August 18, 2006 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "A consultant of the Universal Postal Union, Gunter Bohn, currently visiting Liberia, has disclosed plans to revamp the entire postal system of Liberia. Addressing reporters recently at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, Mr. Bohn who is the LogCon Management Consultant, said there was a need to rehabilitate the country's postal system and to open sub-offices in the 15 counties of Liberia."
August 18, 2006 -- Quad/Graphics has announced that it has purchased Craftsman Press West, a privately held commercial printer in Reno, Nev. The acquisition immediately expands Quad/Graphics' geographic capabilities to the West Coast, giving it a competitive position in every region of the country.
August 18, 2006 -- ChannelNewsAsia has reported that "The Infocomm Development Authority is looking at ways to introduce competition in the postal service sector in Singapore. The authority is seeking industry and public views on whether the basic mail services market should be liberalised. It also wants to hear about the growth opportunities and service innovations that can arise if greater competition is introduced. All views and comments should be submitted in writing to IDA by 12 noon (Singapore time) on 29 September 2006. IDA will then consider all submitted inputs before issuing its final policy decision. The public consultation paper can be downloaded from http://www.ida.gov.sg, under the sections "Policy & Regulation", "Consultation Papers"."
August 18, 2006 -- Mark Acton was sworn in today as a member of the Postal Rate Commission for a term of office extending until October 14, 2010. Commissioner Acton was nominated by President George W. Bush on November 7, 2005 and confirmed by the United States Senate on August 3, 2006. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Acton served as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Postal Rate Commission assisting in managing all aspects of agency operations.
August 18, 2006 -- Expansion has reported that "Spanish postal service operator Correos is aiming to expand internationally, with particular emphasis on Latin America in its business strategy. While Correos hopes to improve its competitiveness, it recognises the impossibility of competing with the main international postal operators, such as UPS, Fedex and Deutsche Post. It has therefore decided to focus on the Asian and Latin American markets."
August 18, 2006 -- As Traffic World has noted, "As manufacturers extend supply lines, craft global procurement strategies and ship more goods to the United States from Asia, they increasingly seek logistics professionals with strong academic credentials to manage their international supply chains. Likewise, retailers and other importers seek skilled professionals to manage distribution networks designed to move goods from container ports to American consumers more quickly and efficiently."
August 18, 2006 -- According to the PressDispensary, "With the current heightened security at UK airports placing major restrictions on hand luggage and recent reports of over 20,000 bags going missing, air travellers' confidence in the system has been severely shaken. This could explain why centres run by international delivery specialist, Mail Boxes Etc. ( MBE - http://www.mbe.co.uk ), are reporting an increase in the number of packages containing valuable items - traditionally carried in aircraft cabins – which are being sent overseas by holidaymakers."
August 18, 2006 -- Life Style Extra has reported that "UK postal service Royal Mail said it broke a record for delivering first class mail in the first quarter of 2006/7. The state-owned group said 94.1 pct of first class letters posted between the end of March and early June arrived at their destination the next working day, well above its 93 pct national target. Second class mail also beat its 98.5 pct target, with a 99.1 pct performance over the same three-month period -- its best first quarter result on record. Mail services used by larger businesses also exceeded their targets, including Mailsort bulk business mail services, Presstream for magazine and catalogue mail, and PPI (Postage Paid Impression) services for mail posted in pre-paid envelopes."
August 18, 2006 -- IT Business has reported that "Most customers don't pop into their local UPS store to browse the shelves. "Our typical customer is coming to us for a specific purpose, to pack something or ship something," said Malcolm Houser, executive vice-president and COO of The UPS Store. But one of the toughest things to do is get your sales staff to cross-sell and up-sell, he added. So the company turned to digital signage as a way to educate its customer base about additional offerings, without having to spend a lot of money. After looking at seven different products, it chose Cci's Retail Digital Media to provide digital signage at the point-of-purchase in retail locations across Canada."
August 17, 2006 -- From the U.S. Postal Service:
Effective September 1, 2006, we are revising 202, 233, 243, 503, 507, 707, and 708 of the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM), to allow mailers to use a new barcode on automation rate letters. The Postal Service-developed "4-State Customer Barcode" is a new barcode that mailers may use to encode routing and tracking information.
Automation-rate letters must have a valid delivery point barcode (DPBC). As of September 1, 2006, mailers who are Confirm service subscribers or Address Change Service (ACSTM) participants may use either a 4-State Customer Barcode or a DPBC on automation-rate letters. While neither Confirm nor ACS services are new, mailers will be able to access these services by using the new 4-State Customer Barcode.
OneCode ACSTM users must use 4-State Customer Barcodes on First-Class Mail letters to access the "Address Service Requested" ancillary service. For ACS mail, the 4-State Customer Barcode will include a numeric Business Entity Identifier in place of the ACS participant code as well as a unique numeric mailpiece identifier instead of the mailer keyline. Complete specifications for 4-State Customer Barcodes are defined in the Postal Service publication USPS-B-3200, which is available at http://ribbs.usps.gov/OneCodeSOLUTION.
Revised standards in DMM 503 will allow mailers to use a 4-State Customer Barcode instead of a PLANET Code barcode for OneCode ConfirmTM service. Mailers accessing OneCode Confirm and OneCode ACS also will be able to use 4-State Customer Barcodes instead of DPBCs for automation rate eligibility. As our technology evolves, we will accommodate additional mail classes, processing categories, and endorsements. We also revise DMM 708 to provide an overview for 4-State Customer Barcodes.
August 17, 2006 -- 6abc.com has reported that "Hundreds of angry postal workers are making a special delivery to their bosses in the government in the form of a protest at this hour. They are rallying over what they call "serious problems" with mail service in the past few months. They blame equipment changes and personnel cuts made since operations moved to the new Southwest Philadelphia postal center. They say the new technology is unreliable and workers are complaining about frequent equipment breakdowns at the new center The U.S. Postal Service says there were problems at the new center when it first opened in November, but that service has improved dramatically since then."
August 17, 2006 -- The U.S. Postal Service is about to begin contract negotiations with its four largest unions. Current contracts with the National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO (NALC), American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO (APWU), National Rural Letter Carriers' Association (NRLCA), and National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) all expire at Midnight Nov. 20, 2006. This is the first time the Postal Service has separately negotiated new contracts with all these unions at the same time.
August 17, 2006 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "There are days when you've just got wonder: What's up with the APWU? Here is an organization that is supposed to represent the long-term best interests of a key sector of the Postal Service's employees in a manner that best insures continued employment. Yet, nary a week goes by without seeing something in the electronic or print media that reflects a union that is hell-bent on ensuring its members' extinction."
August 17, 2006 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Giant printer R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. is entertaining offers to be bought by leveraged buyout firms, people familiar with the matter said yesterday. The Chicago-based company -- with a market capitalization of $7.4 billion -- is a logical target for these buyout shops, which seek companies with steady cash flows that can be used to pay down debt used to fund an acquisition. At least two buyout groups are considering offers, said one person familiar with the matter. One group is comprised of Carlyle Group, Madison Dearborn Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners. A second bidding group includes Blackstone Group and Texas Pacific Group, according to another person familiar with the matter."
August 17, 2006 -- After fervent debate on the 18th Biennial Convention's third day, APWU delegates adopted a resolution to study "efforts and procedures and processes" that would help bring the National Postal Mail Handlers Union into the APWU as a new department.
August 17, 2006 -- From U.S. Newswire: "William H. Young, a member of Central California Coast Branch 52, was reelected today as president of the 300,000-member National Association of Letter Carriers at the union's 65th biennial convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center."
August 16, 2006 -- The Staten Island Advance has reported that "United Parcel Service plans to re-evaluate its policy whereby drivers do not deliver packages to the doors of tenants in five Staten Island housing complexes."
August 16, 2006 -- The Street has reported that "Decades after it underwrote the creation of U.S. commercial aviation, the Postal Service continues to reduce its reliance on the nation's passenger airlines -- and the switch is costing the domestic carriers hundreds of millions of dollars."
August 16, 2006 -- According to The Guardian, "The Royal Mail introduces its fiendishly complicated new letter pricing system next Monday. Instead of the existing, simple system of pricing by weight, letters will also be priced by size. The price of sending a letter will, in future, require four calculations: weight, height, width and depth. Whatever way you look at it, the new pricing rules are daylight robbery."
August 16, 2006 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "'Pricing in proportion' (PIP) has been touted as the biggest change to the postal service since the debut of the adhesive postage stamp in 1840. Its introduction has sparked debate across the direct marketing industry, with many worried the changes will have dramatic implications for campaign costs as well as the execution of mailings themselves. The Royal Mail's new rules particularly affect charity, business-to-business and FMCG direct marketers who send out samples in bulky packs. The effects of the changes range from the relatively trivial - folding A4 letters to get them into the cheapest letter format - to more fundamental considerations concerning creativity. PIP will shape the landscape of the direct marketing industry in coming years. Like or loathe it, over the coming months marketers and agencies will be navigating the limitations it imposes."
August 16, 2006 -- According to the Irish Post, "Minister for Communications Noel Dempsey is examining two reports from ComReg which analyse the feasibility and cost benefit of introducing postcodes in Ireland. The Minister described the results as positive and made no secret of his desire to introduce postcodes to Ireland as soon as possible."
August 16, 2006 -- The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that Australian "federal MPs will have almost $60 million to bombard voters with flyers, leaflets, fridge magnets, posters and other material before next year's election."
August 16, 2006 -- WDBJ7 has reported that "Self checkout lines are becoming more and more popular at grocery stores, and the U.S. Postal Service is working to join the trend of encouraging people to do it themselves."
August 16, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Österreichische Post is making a renewed attempt at taking over German express service provider Trans-o-flex (TOF). The company board is now asking the supervisory board to put its seal of approval under a takeover of TOF, after the two companies have already co-operated since the beginning of the year.`
Finland's Posti Oy show considerable turnover growth.
Österreichische Post achieved a higher turnover and profit growth than expected during the first half. Last Friday, the post announced a 3% increase in turnover to 861.4m euros.
Planned acquisitions in the Czech Republic and/or Romania announced months ago seem to be a much more difficult area for the Austrian post.
A new service provider on the German mail market is likely to reinforce competition between TNT and PIN Group. According to information gleaned by the CEP News, market observers accredit a bright future to the new starter, Munich-based Xanto GmbH & Co. KG.
The Spanish post is investing around 9m euros in the modernisation of its IT systems.
The British postal workers' union CWU is calling for a boycott of book and news retailer WH Smith. Royal Mail is planning to outsource 34 of its big so-called Crown Offices in the Greater Manchester area and in South Wales to WH Smith.
China Post's EMS service is heading for international expansion. Market observers view the launch of an international service as an indicator that China Post is coming under increasing pressure from competition at home, where players include international operators DHL, UPS, FedEx and TNT but also a growing number of Chinese CEP service providers.
India's leading CEP service provider Blue Dart Express (founded in 1983) could soon become a 100% DHL subsidiary.
DHL intends to set up a joint venture together with the Vietnamese post. The company, which has just been given the approval of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, will operate in the international express market.
CEP service provider Innight Express has selected Vienna as the location from which all of its East European activities will be co-ordinated.
The Berlin-based parcel shop chain Paketeria wants to speed up its nationwide expansion with further help from finance investor John Moore.
The German business magazine "Capital" (03.08) reports that the German regulatory authority has opened a preliminary investigation against Deutsche Post. The investigation was prompted following a complaint from competitor Hermes, which has accused the post of hampering competition and abusing its market dominating position through low prices.
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.
August 16, 2006 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "After years of hesitation, some of the largest wireless companies in the U.S. are starting to allow advertising on their cellphone networks, with the hope that these small screens eventually will rival the Internet as a powerful marketing venue. It remains unclear whether consumers will tolerate ads, and some technical complications stand in the way of producing ads that work on a variety of tiny screens and networks. Advertisers and phone companies also have yet to figure out a formula for setting ad rates. Consumers may be more willing to accept advertising if they get information and entertainment on their cellphones for lower fees, or free." Free? You mean...like most mail delivery service?
August 16, 2006 -- From PR Newswire: "TeleManagement Technologies, Inc. (TTI) today announced that the United States Postal Service - Office of the Inspector General has begun to implement their WinBill IT expense management software system at their Arlington, VA. Headquarters. The USPS-OIG serves to prevent and detect fraud, waste and employee misconduct, and promote efficiency in the operations of the Postal Service."
August 16, 2006 -- According to the Caymanian Compass, if you "Want to keep family, friends and business colleagues in the loop about the new postcode? The Cayman Islands Postal Service wants to help. Over the next three weeks the CIPS will provide postbox renters with two postcards, an Addressing Guide brochure and a personalised refrigerator magnet, said a CIPS press release. This Thursday, postbox renters will be receiving two postcards showing their correct return address including the new postcode. The return address shows the proper way to address mail coming to the Cayman Islands. Customers will be responsible for purchasing the postage necessary to mail the cards."
August 16, 2006 -- According to the Middletown Press, "When it comes to the mail, it seems that the Middletown Post Office has adopted an attitude of "better late than never." Some businesses, like the Godfrey Memorial Library, were not receiving mail at all during their normal business hours. Instead, the staff was letting in the carriers after-hours. Middlesex Chamber of Commerce President Larry McHugh pointed out another major problem with the Post Office. According to McHugh, First Class mail has been taking up to three to four days to get from one Middletown address to another."
August 16, 2006 -- According to the Globe and Mail, "Airlines, railroads, shippers and truckers are among this quarter's worst-performing U.S. stocks, and their performance may foreshadow more widespread losses. United Parcel Service Inc., the biggest company in the 20-stock average by market value, recorded its worst one-day drop ever in July after reducing its profit forecast. The industry's slump suggested to some investors that economic growth is slowing. For followers of Dow Theory, an indicator developed in the 19th century, the decline set off a warning that the market may be poised to fall."
August 16, 2006 -- The Times of India has reported that "In a dramatic attempt to wipe out the Rs 1,000 crore deficit that India Post currently runs, it has started work to set up a bank. Tentativelycalled the Post Bank of India, sources say it will start operating with 30 branches towards the end of this year - next year on the outside. During the course of the 11th five year plan, the idea is to open 1,500 branches across the country. In many ways, the move mirrors a transformation that was engineered by the Italian postal service."
August 16, 2006 -- Chennai Online has reported that "The Dept of Posts (DoP), has entered into a unique marketing tie-up with TVS Finance and Services Ltd (TVSFS), a company in the TVS Group. The arrangement envisages the DoP selling loan products in its capacity as franchisee of TVSFS. TVSFS is a leading player in the retail finance market with a basket of products comprising loans for purchase of TVS two-wheelers, consumer durables, personal computers and a recent foray into micro finance. The company has a strong presence in many districts of south India, Rajasthan, Western UP and Uttaranchal. It has a large customer base and successfully cross-sells various products to its existing customers."
August 16, 2006 -- CBS3 has reported that "Both postal workers and residents of Southwest Philadelphia are furious because of mail that's being delivered late or not at all. The problems started when the postal service moved its regional mail-sorting center from downtown to a new facility on Lindbergh Avenue. Residents of Southwest Philadelphia received their mail on Tuesday around 3 p.m.., but they say the deliveries have been uneven. Some residents have complained about receiving their mail when the sun goes down, and others have received mail that wasn't intended for their household."
August 16, 2006 -- 24dash.com has reported that "Workers in four Royal Mail distribution centres have voted in favour of industrial action over allegations of "heavy handed" management, threatening disruption to post deliveries, it was announced tonight. The Communication Workers Union said 1,000 of its members in Essex, London, Nottingham and Crick in Northamptonshire backed a campaign of action after accusing the company of imposing changes to working practices and failing to honour agreements."
August 16, 2006 -- According to the Financial Times, "The Global Fund to fight Aids, TB and malaria yesterday unveiled plans to raise money through voluntary levies from users of the postal services and other forms of communication, Andrew Jack reports. "Hope spreads faster than Aids" will from this autumn organise levies on special postage stamps and franked mail, with plans to extend the principle to private courier services, text messages and e-mails."
August 16, 2006 -- As American Printer has noted, "Among all the bad news for print markets, direct mail remains one bright spot. Annual spending on U.S. direct mail advertising is approximately $60 billion a year, and it's growing at a healthy clip: seven to eight percent a year. In 2005, companies and other groups sent out 100 billion pieces of direct mail, up 16 percent from 86 billion pieces in 1999, according to the United States Postal Service. There are a number of reasons for the growth of direct mail, but it really boils down to one very simple fact: Direct mail works. Thus, advertisers and marketers continue to use it. It provides something tangible, convenient, colorful and persuasive. After all, print is a medium that must be delivered to the reader physically, and mail is the most common method for doing so. Nearly half of everything printed gets mailed, the vast majority of which is direct mail."
August 15, 2006 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's largest postal service, is seeking damages of 105 million euros ($134 million) from Deutsche Telekom AG stemming from its purchase of some logistics centers from the phone company six years ago. Deutsche Post is seeking 37 million euros in damages based on ``alleged warranty claims'' from an agreement in 2000, Deutsche Telekom said in a filing to U.S. securities regulators yesterday. Deutsche Post, which initiated arbitration proceedings in May, wants additional compensation that Deutsche Telekom estimates at 68 million euros."
August 15, 2006 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Bargain shoppers know the value of the coupons that come in the Sunday paper or arrive in the mail in a baby-blue envelope -- 10 percent off of carpet cleaning or buy-one-get-one-free at your favorite neighborhood restaurant. Now, those coupons are available online -- courtesy of coupon dealer Valpak and Internet giant Google Inc."
August 15, 2006 -- According to SkyNews, "The Royal Mail has delivered more than one trillion letters across the UK since records began in 1839, research has shown."
August 15, 2006 -- The Arizona Daily Star has reported that "The U.S. Post Office in Vail was shut down for three hours Monday morning after diesel fuel additives leaked from a package, causing 12 postal workers to become sick."
August 15, 2006 -- From PR Web: "Cci, a leading global retail automation company, today announced that The UPS Store in Canada, the country's largest franchised retail network of business support services, has selected Cci's Retail Digital Media Solution over competitive offerings to provide dynamic digital video signage at point-of-purchase at select The UPS Store locations across Canada. This is a significant development in Canada's digital signage market as it represents a strong endorsement of the technology by a well established retailer and further strengthens Cci's leadership in fully managed, end-to-end digital video signage solutions for Canadian retailers."
August 15, 2006 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "TNT Post has won the £2m-plus contract to distribute Ikea's catalogues to UK households over the next year and will, for the first time, be the sole distributor."
August 15, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Postal workers plan to protest forced transfers and delivery problems that resulted when the U.S. Postal Service moved its regional mail-sorting center from downtown to a more automated facility. Since the move to Southwest Philadelphia began in November, 600 clerks have had to transfer, while outside workers were brought in to help with the transition. Meanwhile, there have been frequent problems with mail that has been delivered late or not at all. The American Postal Workers Union is planning a protest Thursday at the historic 30th Street post office, saying the move has simultaneously hurt service and trampled on the rights of mail-sorters and other workers."
August 14, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "Twentieth Century Fox will start to sell movies including "X-Men: The Last Stand" and TV shows like "24" for downloading from Web sites owned by parent News Corp., in what some analysts said could be the first step toward creating a broader online video strategy. Fox Interactive Media said it will begin to sell movies and shows on the Direct2Drive download site, owned by Fox's IGN Entertainment, by October. The programs can be viewed on personal computers as well as Windows portable media devices." Is America wired (or, in the case of wireless, unwired) to download movies rather than receive them in the mail?
August 14, 2006 -- As The Guardian has noted, "Post Office staff are to be balloted on whether to take industrial action over the transferral of crown post office outlets to the news and books chain WHSmith. The Post Office announced in June that WHSmith would take over six of its 500 loss-making crown offices, which it owns and manages directly, as part of a trial in the autumn. It said 120 staff would be offered voluntary redundancy or other jobs within the Post Office, and could also apply for jobs as counter staff with WHSmith."
August 14, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
August 14, 2006 -- According to the Buffalo News, "FedEx is finishing work on its distribution terminal on Walden Avenue to handle more packages. When FedEx Ground completes a 40 percent expansion of its Buffalo distribution hub this month, it will be able to deliver an additional 2,000 packages a day. The expansion is needed because people are buying more on the Internet, and FedEx is servicing a booming population across the border."
August 14, 2006 -- According to CNN, "While you're waiting in line, a lot of stuff gets on to the plane, and it's barely getting a glance."
August 14, 2006 -- From the U.S. Newswire: "Letter Carriers union President William H. Young warned the U.S. Postal Service today against out-sourcing to private contractors the delivery of mail to American homes and businesses, saying such a move would weaken the nation's defense against terrorist attacks. Young said the possibility of such an action by the Postal Service is not far-fetched, citing the Service's recent announcement that is it considering contracting out work at postal Air Mail Centers. He said that could lead postal management into a right-wing temptation to contract out letter carrier work."
August 14, 2006 -- From WebWire: "DHL, the world's leading express delivery and logistics company, announced it will offer three new signature delivery service options to provide customers with more direct control over their delivery needs. The new options, including delivering packages without a required in-person signature, will make deliveries more convenient for DHL customers."
August 14, 2006 -- From PR Newswire: "DYMO Corporation announced today it is partnering with the United States Federation of Small Businesses (USFSB) to introduce its members to DYMO Stamps(TM), the new desktop postage solution from DYMO. The partnership will allow more small- and medium-sized businesses to leverage DYMO Stamps for convenience mailing and provide USFSB members with another critical benefit."
August 14, 2006 -- Zeenews has reported that "Union Communications and IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran on Monday launched the Indian postal department's 'One India One Rate' concept for speed post, under which a minimum rate of Rs 25 would be charged for delivering a package, weighing not more than 50 gms, to any destination within the country. The prevailing minimum rate of Rs 20 for speed post services within Chennai would however, continue, he said speaking at the function here, which also marked the launch of celebrations to mark 20 years since the service started. Earlier, the charges for 50 gms packet was calculated on the distance, he said." See also The Hindu.
August 14, 2006 -- Pacific Magazine has reported that "Three business monopolies want to increase the price of their services because of increases in the cost of doing business, says the Commerce Commission. Commission chairman Thomas Raju said none of the proposals had been processed yet except that the commission had called for public submissions on Post Fiji's proposal."
August 14, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "Direct Group, a full-service provider of high-volume direct marketing services, announced today that industry veteran Don McKenzie will join the company Sept. 5 as its new President & CEO. Company founder Manny Ortiz will continue as Chairman of the Board, passing day-to-day responsibility for running the company to McKenzie so that Ortiz can focus on leading the strategic development and long-term growth of the company, while remaining involved in service provided to major clients." McKenzie is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Postal Commerce.
August 14, 2006 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "South Korea's postal service Korea Post will send two of its employees to its counterpart in Kazakhstan to help a South Korean company win a bid to provide a consulting service on upgrading postal work in the Central Asian country."
August 14, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Post office staff in Greater Manchester and south-west Wales are to be balloted for industrial action over a pilot scheme to transfer post offices to WH Smith. Some 500 staff were to be balloted in the two regions said the Communication Workers Union. The union said more post offices were in danger of being transferred if the pilot scheme was considered successful."
August 14, 2006 -- The American Postal Workers Union has reported that "APWU-represented employees at installations where excessing is occurring will have an opportunity to be placed on a preferred listing and will receive other accommodations to minimize the impact of reassignments under an agreement signed recently by the union and postal management."
August 14, 2006 -- According to the Irish Examiner, "Every address in Ireland will soon have its own unique postcode under a radical new mail system that will be a variation of the successful vehicle registration scheme."
August 14, 2006 -- The San Gabriel Valley Tribune told its readers:
Anyone who has waited for the proverbial "check in the mail" has probably harbored the suspicion that their mail was sitting in a sorting house way longer than it should. Those suspicions could be the truth for many, according to an internal U.S. Postal Service report that made it into the hands of Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles. The report said mail at the South Los Angeles processing plant can be delayed up to six days - 10 days for magazines. Although the country's snail mail system is inching toward obsolescence, this is still an abuse of the thousands of people who rely on monthly checks to pay their bills. If those bills are delayed, it can send them into the usurious hands of check cashing places. Or, if bills are delayed, then late fees can be tacked on. Presumably other areas of Southern California get far better service. But for South Los Angeles, the report's findings are unacceptable, and Waxman and his colleagues should continue the pressure to keep the mail coming.
August 14, 2006 -- From the Federal Register: "This order (from the Postal Rate Commission) announces a mail classification docket to consider a proposal to amend the definition of ``nominal rate'' subscription for publications in the Periodicals class. Estabishing this docket will allow interested persons to participate in the Commission's consideration of the proposed change, which liberalizes the current definition. It will also allow them to comment on the appropriateness of treating the case on an expedited basis. The order identifies preliminary procedural steps, including appointment of the Postal Service as settlement coordinator.
August 13, 2006 -- According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "The Watchdog is happy to report today that somebody out there is getting it right. What's even more surprising is who that somebody is: The United States Postal Service."
August 12, 2006 -- The Worcester Telegram & Gazette has noted that "New U.S. Postal Service procedures have had an effect on letter delivery throughout the city, slowing mail delivery and stretching resources, the head of the local letter carriers' union said. James Servideo, president of Branch 12 of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said his union has filed several grievances against the postal service, alleging that the new procedures violate labor regulations and that the procedures are based on a faulty review system."
August 12, 2006 -- The Japan Times has reported that "Japan Post Corp.'s 10-year road map for postal service privatization is ambitious. If things develop as the road map envisages, a mega-bank and a mega-life insurance firm will be established, possibly creating competition problems for existing private banks and insurance firms. But the road map appears to be based on overly optimistic predictions and the new firms derived through privatization may fall into difficulty."
August 12, 2006 -- According to Ghanaweb, "Ghana Post (GP) needs about two million dollars to fully computerized its systems of operation and link all its offices to ensure effective services."
August 12, 2006 -- UK Fundraising has noted that "Post Office Ltd is producing a range of special edition rubber pin badges of its promotional family of ants to raise funds for its supported charity, Help the Hospices."
August 12, 2006 -- The Scotsman has reported that "THE Post Office could be set to join the broadband revolution, after reports yesterday said it was set to move into the crowded market for high-speed internet access."
August 12, 2006 -- If you're interested in taking a gander at UPS' financials, they're available on Yahoo Finance.
August 12, 2006 -- Government Computer News has reported that "The Postal Service is conducting market research for a commercially available advanced search and analysis tool for data and text material. In a recent notice, the Postal Inspection Service said the search tool must be able to parse and analyze criminal information that will direct investigative resources in an efficient manner. The software must be Microsoft .Net compatible and integrate with existing Internet applications. Also, it must be a thin-client solution consisting of a proven technology (i.e., technology that has been deployed for at least one year). Responses are due Aug. 25."
August 11, 2006 -- The U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General has said the U.S. Postal Service "spends over $200 million annually to transport international mail, at rates mostly set by regulation, not the market. Evidence suggests the Postal Service pays more than it would on the open market."
August 11, 2006 -- U.S. Postal Service Southeast Area VP Bill Brown has announced his plans to retire from the Postal Service in October. Postmaster General Jack Potter has announced that Southeast Area Operations Support Manager Terry Wilson will serve as acting Vice President effective Oct. 1.
August 11, 2006 -- According to postal commentator Kate Muth, "What industry wants is for the Postal Service to measure mail delivery – once a piece actually becomes mail. Once a letter or flat has entered the mailstream, when can one reasonably expect that piece to reach its destination; and how often is that expectation met? The postal system faces competition in many of its product lines. It's also a public service held in the public trust. If those two factors don't beg for standards and accountability, nothing does."
August 11, 2006 -- Noticias.info has reported that "The Siemens Industrial Solutions and Services Group (I&S) has received an order from the Israel Postal Company for delivery of two mail sorting systems. The solution, specially tailored to the requirements of the Israel Postal Company, combines pre-processing of the incoming mail with reading and encoding of the consignments. The order is worth around 6 million euros to the I&S Postal Automation Division, and it represents the start of the Israel Postal Company's modernization drive."
August 11, 2006 -- The Greeley Tribune has reported that "The Union Colony Bank opened a Contract Postal Unit at its Brighton branch last month, and will open a CPU at its Windsor branch Aug. 14. A CPU is an official United States Postal Service Post Office. "Having a post office right in our Brighton and Windsor branch lobbies is a great convenience for our bank customers and non-customers alike," said Union Colony Bank president Larry Wood. The branches offer the same pricing on postage, fees and supplies as any regular post office." Finally! Someone has learned how to make an asset out of someone else's counter services.
August 11, 2006 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Austrian Post AG has said that first-half sales rose 3% on what it termed "favorable business operations" - although net profit remained flat. The company was giving its first earnings report since listing on May 31. The Austrian mail and logistics company's first-half net profit was unchanged at EUR51.6 million, while sales increased to EUR861.4 million from EUR836 million a year earlier. Earnings before interest and taxes, or EBIT, rose 18% to EUR66.3 million from EUR56.2 million in the first half a year ago. Austrian Post said the company expects EBIT growth of between 10% and 15% for the year, while it sees sales for the rest of 2006 increasing slightly. The company said it sees the mail market remaining stable for the rest of the year."
August 11, 2006 -- AFX Asia has reported that "E-pay Asia Limited said that following a six month pilot project, it has entered into an agreement with Pos Malaysia Berhad to extend its electronic top up network throughout the Malaysian national postal company's more than 900 post offices."
August 11, 2006 -- According to Die Welt, "Germany has become the third-largest exporter of services worldwide, behind the US and the UK. In certain fields, such as postal services and construction services, Germany is in first place, and it is in second position for transport services."
August 11, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "The Board of Directors of UPS (NYSE:UPS) today declared a regular quarterly dividend of 38-cents per share on all outstanding Class A and Class B shares. The dividend is payable Sept. 6, 2006, to shareholders of record on Aug. 21, 2006. UPS has raised its quarterly payout 81% since February 2003."
August 11, 2006 -- From the Carolina Newswire: "Sales Prospecting Solutions (SPS), Inc., a leading provider of comprehensive solutions for business to business lead generation and inside sales, entered into another agreement this month with BÖWE BELL + HOWELL (BBH). Sales Prospecting Solutions (SPS), Inc. is engaged to increase awareness about the BÖWE BELL + HOWELL WayMark solution while collecting prospect information to assist with sales and marketing efforts."
August 11, 2006 -- The Caymanian Compass has reported that "As part of the implementation of postcodes in the Cayman Islands, unique postcodes will be available to purchase by the public. Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow said the price of purchasing a unique postcode had not been determined yet because the Cayman Islands Postal Services was still considering adding some additional benefit components to the package. Businesses that get a lot of daily mail are the most likely to see the benefits of the unique postcodes, Ms Glasgow said."
August 11, 2006 -- di-ve.com has reported that "Lombard Bank Malta plc has reached an agreement with Transend Worldwide Ltd whereby it has acquired the New Zealand company's 35 per cent shareholding in Maltapost plc, in a move that is widely seen as paving the way for Maltapost's diversification efforts."
August 11, 2006 -- According to the American Chronicle, "Drop shippers send merchandise to the customers of business owners. If you have an eBay business, you are a business owner. This will allow you to offer a wide variety of stock in your eBay store, without having the need to warehouseall of those products! All you have to do is set up your auction, and sell the product. You then pass the customer's information on to the drop shipping company. The drop shipper does the rest, and they will even use your company information, as well as your company logo if you have provided it to them. When the product arrives at your customer's home, they will have no ideathat your company didn't send it. The drop shipper will package, label, and ship the products that you sell, allowing you more time to set up even more auctions, for greater profits."
August 11, 2006 -- Traffic World has reported that:
August 10, 2006 -- The U.S. Postal Service has reported that "USPS revenues for June were $27 million, or 0.4% under plan and 5.6% more than June 2005. Expenses for the month were $39 million, or 0.7% under plan and 4.4% more than June 2005. The result is a net loss of $11.9 million before the escrow allocation. The net deficiency after escrow allocation is $261.9 million. Year-to-date (YTD) revenue through June is 3.9% higher than the same period last year (SPLY) and is $386 million above plan. YTD expenses are 4.2% higher than SPLY and $222 million over plan. YTD total mail volume is 0.9% above SPLY.
August 10, 2006 -- From PR Web: "James Coe, a Vietnam Veteran, who had a pending EECO case against his manager claims there was a connection between his protected EEOC grievance and his August 2004 insubordination termination from the Postal Service Processing & Distribution Center in Edison NJ. Mr. Coe was initially disqualified for unemployment benefits by the New Jersey Department of Labor for employment misconduct."
August 10, 2006 -- PrintingTalk has noted that "Mailroom equipment manufacturer, Neopost, has highlighted that when Pricing in Proportion (PiP) comes in to effect in the UK postal market this month, there is more changing than just the way mail is valued. Philippe Masson, Neopost's marketing director, explained: 'Royal Mail's GBP10m advertising campaign is now fully underway with awareness of PiP increasing. However, one message is still not being heard by businesses - the reduction applied to metered, or franked mail, compared to stamps, will increase.' He added: 'The saving on a standard letter will rise from 1p to 2p for both first and second class mail and this differential increases at larger formats and higher weights. Businesses, that currently use stamps, can easily access discounts simply by using a franking machine.'"
August 10, 2006 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "FedEx Express and its pilots face a crucial period in their long-running contract negotiations, a company spokesman said, as the two sides press to settle their differences."
August 9, 2006 -- GovExec.com has reported that "Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, wants to stub out a provision in the Postal Service overhaul bill that would ban the agency from delivering cigarettes purchased online by underage customers. House Government Reform ranking member Henry Waxman, D-Calif., proposed earlier this month including the provision in the conference report, which also would crack down on Internet tobacco vendors who avoid paying state taxes on their online sales. Collins said she is "sympathetic to the cause, but I don't think it belongs in this bill." She said she is cautious to add provisions to the overhaul bill that might make it more controversial, including the anti-smoking language, and that she would instead introduce a stand-alone measure. Waxman, however, said he wanted to keep the underage smoking provision "on a vehicle that's moving."
August 9, 2006 -- UniPostal has reported that "A two-year project to organise 3,000 DHL workers in Hong Kong has been launched as part of a global strategy to unionise the key hubs of one of the world's leading logistic and integrator multinationals. UNI-Asia Pacific is to open a development and organising centre in Hong Kong to support the DHL project and others under consideration. Backing the DHL project are ver.di and FES foundation Germany, UNI and UNI-Asia Pacific along with Hong Kong's Union of Postal Employees. (firstname.lastname@example.org)"
August 9, 2006 -- Newswise has reported that A study sponsored by the Canadian government and postal workers union explores the benefits of alternative medical treatment for a common work-related ailment. The results provide evidentiary support for further examination of the link between naturopathic care and treatment of lower back pain among Canadian postal workers."
August 9, 2006 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users has reported that "Canada Post has announced "Light Packet", a new international shipping service that facilitates the movement of light weight, low-value goods to the United States and other international destinations. Light Packet is designed to suit the needs of Canadian eBay members and other customers."
August 9, 2006 -- The Scotsman has reported that "the volume of items sent through the post annually soared by five billion to 22 billion over the past decade, the Royal Mail said yesterday. Alcohol and food was one of the fastest growing sectors, with deliveries more than quadrupling between 1995 and 2005."
August 9, 2006 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "An advisory panel on Wednesday recommended that Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Heizo Takenaka order Japan Post to improve its business practices after a post office was found to have provided inappropriate postal fee discounts."
August 9, 2006 -- As the Syracuse Post-Standard has noted, "Every Monday through Saturday (except July 4 and Labor Day) from July 1 until the day after Labor Day, the mailboat circles the lake, delivering mail to about 25 camps and summer homes. The U.S. Postal Service pays Mid-Lakes about $4,000 a summer season for the delivery service. Mid-Lakes has been delivering mail on Skaneateles Lake since 1968. Mail has been delivered by boat and steamboat from about 1900."
August 9, 2006 -- From PR Web: "US-based global leader in Email to Postal address delivery services, ePOSTIT, celebrates the first anniversary of their FREE service. EPOSTIT entered the market last year with their new unique Free mailing concept which connects the virtual PC world to the real postal address world. It growth since their initial introduction has exploded. EPOSTIT delivers thousands of mails per month to clients all over the world."
August 9, 2006 -- According to the Telegram and Gazette, "Downtown businesses and government agencies are getting their mail later under a new U.S. Postal Service procedure, at times jeopardizing the processing of time-sensitive mail, some said. The past policy allowed office workers to retrieve mail in bulk from one of several downtown Postal Service substations, but the new procedure has letter carriers sort mail at the main branch on Central Street, while office workers wait for deliveries and, in some cases, postpone work on sensitive documents. Courthouse clerks get mail later, delaying the processing of warrant paperwork, and large businesses with bulk mail are pressed for time in processing deliveries."
August 9, 2006 -- Lanka Business Online has noted that "Sri Lanka's postal department is looking to provide agency financial services to boost revenue and reduce its operating deficit."
August 9, 2006 -- The Post Independent has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service and a union differ on whether a proposal to move some regional mail distribution from Glenwood Springs will result in slower delivery. Glenwood's regional sorting facility, on Center Drive in West Glenwood, is one of 40 facilities around the country being evaluated for consolidation of operations into other facilities. Some of Glenwood's sorting may be moved to Grand Junction under the proposal. The American Postal Workers Union warns that mail delivery could be delayed up to a week under the consolidations, and that mail collections could occur earlier in the day and deliveries later in the day. But Postal Service spokesperson Al DeSarro said no changes in Glenwood, like anywhere else, would be made unless the current level of service could be maintained."
August 9, 2006 -- The Arizona Republic has reported that "Arizona apparently has sidestepped a U.S. Postal Service plan to close parts of more than 100 mail-processing centers across the nation. No Arizona facilities are among the 139 locations listed as possible candidates for consolidation, whereby certain sorting and distribution activities could be transferred to other offices. The American Postal Workers Union, which represents 300,000 employees, opposes the plan, arguing that it could result in slower mail service, with earlier collections, later deliveries and the loss of local postmarks in some places."
August 9, 2006 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and express company TNT NV aims to strengthen its European Express activities, and could make an acquisition such as Belgian parcel service ABX, spokesman Pieter Schaffels said Friday. TNT's European Express is its express delivery service for packages. With an operational hub in Liege, Belgium it handles package traffic from 67 European airports."
August 9, 2006 -- As the Evening Times has noted, "As a small business owner, you know your time is best spent managing and growing your business. Well if that's the case, why do so many small business owners still run out to the post office everyday? Many companies take the cost of sending out all those checks, invoices, brochures, holiday cards, etc., for granted because they don't realize how much money and man power they can save with their own postal meter."
August 9, 2006 -- According to the DM Bulletin, "The postal market regulator Postcomm is seeking public input to help it shape its regulatory strategy over the coming years. Postcomm wants to hear views from business users and suppliers on what its approach should be following the expiry of the current price and service quality control on Royal Mail in 2010. Nigel Stapleton, chairman of Postcomm, said: "Now is the time to ask some fundamental questions - such as ensuring we continue to meet people's needs for a quality universal postal service against the background of some significant trends such as the increasing use of emails and online shopping. "We are also asking questions about whether Postcomm, while still promoting deregulation, can do more to ensure customers benefit from competition." See also The Independent.
August 8, 2006 -- The U.S. Postal Service has announced that "Sharon Daniel will begin a detail as Manager, Mailing Standards, on August 21. Sharon has extensive experience with Postal Service customers and products. She has been a manager in Product Development for several years and previously worked in Finance as an operations research analyst and an economist. Sharon has testified before the Postal Rate Commission five times. Before joining the Postal Service in 1995, Sharon worked for Price Waterhouse as a consultant. Sharon earned a BS in mathematics and an MS in operations research, both from the College of William and Mary. Please join me in welcoming and supporting Sharon in her new role. We wish Sherry Suggs all the best in her new assignment managing business partner strategy in Sales. And we thank Sherry for her many years of service to mailing standards."
August 8, 2006 -- According to the Financial Times, "The Post Office has written to 4,000 senior managers -- a third of the workforce -- asking for volunteers for redundancy as part of its drive to reduce losses of GBP2 million a week. The cutbacks, part of a shake-up of the Post Office, come on top of 30,000 redundancies announced by Royal Mail two years ago. Three of Royal Mail's four subsidiaries make a profit. Royal Mail Letters made GBP344 million last year, Parcelforce has profits of GBP5 million a year and overseas business makes GBP100 million a year."
August 8, 2006 -- The Manchester Evening News has reported that "POSTAL deliveries are set to get more colourful in the north west - and bike-riding posties dressed in bright orange could soon be a familiar sight. For a rival to Royal Mail is planning to have a team of delivery men and women in place by Christmas. They will be dressed in orange because it is the company colour of TNT, part of the Royal Dutch Post Office."
August 8, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that "Residents in a number of Borders villages have begun a campaign to have their English postcode changed to a Scottish one. The Royal Mail insisted postcodes are used to sort post efficiently, not as a geographical reference."
August 8, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "Internap Network Services Corporation, a leading provider of performance-based routing solutions over the Internet, has been selected as the exclusive provider of Internet connectivity services for RedRoller.com, a free, Web-based shipping solution that lets users compare shipping carrier services and real-time prices to ship packages anywhere in the U.S. RedRoller customers, which include small businesses, e-retailers, catalog companies and consumers, can ship packages on-demand using a number of leading carriers including the U.S. Postal Service, DHL and FedEx, among others. RedRoller, Inc. chose the Internap(R) Performance IP(TM) service for optimized network connectivity to support its new service that launched in June 2006."
August 8, 2006 -- As the New York Times has noted, "It's a familiar story from magazine publishing companies lately: part of staying relevant means staging outsize, razzle-dazzle productions that incorporate television, the Web and wireless communications but have relatively little to do with the print product."
August 8, 2006 -- China Daily has reported that "China's State Post Bureau will sell mutual funds for the first time starting on Monday as part of an effort to add financial services before its restructuring."
August 8, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that Fedex-Kinko's "plans to open an additional 200 stores during the current fiscal year, taking the total to more than 1,600 in 11 countries. The expansion will continue for the next few years until the chain reaches its target of about 4,000 stores. The aggressive approach is in part designed to close the gap with the 5,600-strong UPS Store chain operated by FedEx's biggest domestic rival. Retail outlets have become an important front in the "parcel wars" between FedEx and UPS by competing for high-margin, walk-in business from local enterprises and consumers. But the group's ambitions for the chain stretch beyond its role as a parcel drop-off point." See also Air Cargo World
August 8, 2006 -- The Los Angeles Times has reported that "With constituents continuing to decry late delivery of first-class letters and magazines, Waxman, a Los Angeles Democrat, last week asked the U.S. Postal Service's inspector general to investigate delays at the main Los Angeles processing center and several other facilities in California. Postal officials for the region including Southern California said delays cited in the report resulted from problems with a new piece of equipment at the plant that is designed to sort large envelopes and magazines. In addition, the postal service for some time has been diverting mail from several plants to the Los Angeles Bulk Mail Center in Bell, the location of a new automated package processing system. Waxman's latest request marks another salvo in the veteran lawmaker's battle to get the postal service to respond to a barrage of complaints that began last fall."
August 8, 2006 -- Traffic World has reported that "For most of the past year, DHL Express has been hammered in the United States by service problems stemming from a difficult hub consolidation that cost the company customers and revenue. Now the world's largest expedited carrier says it has turned a corner in its struggle to become a stronger competitor in the world's biggest market. DHL Parent Deutsche Post World Net says DHL's U.S. express business finally "stabilized" in the latest quarter. Deutsche Post CEO Klaus Zumwinkel told reporters at Aug. 1 the company expects "a strong increase in revenue in the second half."
August 8, 2006 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that "Deutsche Postbank, the banking subsidiary of German postal service operator Deutsche Post, as well as 80 per cent of the co-operative Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken and 84 per cent of Germany's publicly owned savings banks (Sparkassen) are reported to be using Giropay GmbH (giropay) the new internet payment system so far. The management of the system had expected only two-thirds of the banks to have joined by the summer. Germany's major private sector banks have yet to join, however. Altogether 17 million online banking customers, representing over half of the market, can now use the system, which was launched in February. The online shopper can be transferred directly from the website of the trader to the bank's website in order to carry out the cash transfer with the normal security standards. Delivery is also speeded up, as payment of the trader is then guaranteed."
August 8, 2006 -- The Atlanta Business Journal has reported that "FedEx Corp. has inked a land deal to build 200,000 square feet of package and freight distribution facilities in West Palm Beach, Fla. The proposed 120,000-square-foot FedEx Ground hub and 80,000-square-foot FedEx Freight facility are scheduled to open by July 2007. The new hub is part of nationwide effort by Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx (NYSE: FDX) to step up capacity and speed for handling packages in the face of mounting competition by United Parcel Service Inc. and DHL International GmbH."
August 8, 2006 -- The National Association of Letter Carriers told its members that "the NALC plans to take a hard look at the results of the Indianapolis test and determine what day-to-day effect FSS could have on the letter carriers who ultimately will be responsible for handling and delivering its output. While it may be inevitable that a machine will sequence flats, the NALC will closely monitor the automation system's progress to ensure that the equipment and delivery methods are both safe and contractually compliant."
August 8, 2006 -- From MarketWire: "PennySaverUSA.com, the Web site of the shopper publications of Harte-Hanks, Inc., has entered a relationship with ShopLocal.com, a Web shopping service for retailers and other companies, to bring ShopLocal.com's full suite of offerings of national and large regional retail advertisements to its site. This partnership brings to the PennySaverUSA.com Web site advertisements from hundreds of retailers nationwide with searchable listings and weekly online circulars. All areas of the United States are served by these series of ShopLocal.com listings."
August 8, 2006 -- Kommersant has reported that "Tatarstan's decision to independently privatize its mail service the state-run Tatarstan Pochtasy was rebuffed by the federal authorities of Russia. The officials obviously fear that the telecom privatization scenario will play again. In the mid-1990s, lots of telephone offices were made private locally with no way to include them to the state-run Svyazinvest later on."
August 8, 2006 -- According to Pacific Magazine, "Marshall Islands' business people want the U.S. to reconsider the international postal service designation which went into effect seven months ago. Although the 2003 Amended Compact of Free Association, negotiated between the US and the two former Trust Territories, stipulated that international rates would be phased over five years, with international rates beginning no sooner than 2006, islanders were not prepared for the change-over. The USPS still maintains the operational services of mail to the Marshalls, but the lack of coordination and process alignment in the new phase-in is evident. The loss of registered, certified, and insured mail service, and even zip code designation, has caused hardship and confusion. "The lack of these particular services is having a drastic negative effect on the Marshall Islands private sector, schools, other organizations, and individuals," said the Majuro Chamber of Commerce."
August 7, 2006 -- From PR Newswire: "R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company has announced that the United States Postal Service(TM) (USPS) has recognized its OneSite(SM) postal tracking and reporting system with an Innovation Award. Postmaster General Jack Potter at the August 2, 2006 meeting of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee presented the award, and stated, "I want to recognize RR Donnelley's efforts to make our vision of end- to-end transparency a reality." RR Donnelley's OneSite is the first product to combine post-production shipment tracking and USPS network tracking into one synchronized report. OneSite connects RR Donnelley's transportation tracking network with USPS Planet Code(R) and FAST(R) scheduling data to provide a diverse new range of tracking and reporting tools designed to maximize opportunities for customers to capitalize on mailing campaign effectiveness. Using OneSite, mailers can track their mailing campaigns as the finished mail pieces leave the production facility, travel through our logistics network and are processed by the USPS."
August 7, 2006 -- DM News has reported that "Senator Susan Collins introduced legislation on Aug. 3 to help crack down on illegal sales of tobacco to children by banning the shipment of cigarettes and other tobacco products through the U.S. mail. Specifically, the bill would add cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to the U.S. Postal Service's list of restricted, non-mailable products."
August 7, 2006 -- As the Washington Post has noted, "Lockheed Martin Corp. won a $17.4 million contract to improve automated parcel-sorting systems at the U.S. Postal Service's bulk mail centers. The Bethesda contractor will install optical character-recognition systems on secondary parcel-sorting systems -- known as Singulation Scan Induction Units -- at 19 bulk mail centers across the nation. Each of these mail-processing plants has two sorting machines that will be outfitted with the optical systems."
August 7, 2006 -- In an editorial, the Yakima Herald Republic said, "Let's offer qualified support at this point to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray's efforts to at least delay a decision by the U.S. Postal Service to cut back on its Yakima operations, pending further study. Independent and review are the operative words. Such a dramatic change in operations should be reviewed by someone outside the postal service, which is under heavy pressure from Congress to bring spending more in line with revenue. There are ramifications to such a bold departure from present operations and the public needs to be satisfied the move is both necessary and prudent."
August 7, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that "Postal workers are to begin voting this week on whether to go on strike in a dispute over working practices. About 1,000 Communication Workers Union (CWU) members at three distribution centres in England are being balloted."
August 6, 2006 -- The New York Times has reported that "Earlier this year, as Congress inched toward a broad overhaul of the nations troubled corporate pension system, experts said the bill was so fraught with escape clauses that it could become easier for companies to shortchange their pension funds than under the current, flawed law. But under the version just approved by lawmakers, companies appear to get a break in putting money into their pension funds for only a couple of years before the rules start to tighten. One of the bills winners is United Parcel Service, which has 127,000 truck drivers who participate in a special type of plan jointly run by companies and unions, called multiemployer plans."
August 6, 2006 -- ThisIsMoney has reported that "THOUSANDS of struggling post offices could close after the Government announced plans to axe a ·1bn contract. It plans to end support for the Post Office Card Account when the current seven-year deal to operate it runs out in 2010. The National Federation of Sub-Postmasters attacked the decision as an ' outrageous betrayal' that would hit the elderly particularly hard."
August 6, 2006 -- The Hindu has reported that "Speed Post and Express Parcel rates for articles sent from the national capital to the satellite towns of Ghaziabad, Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad will become cheaper from August 15, with the government deciding to treat services in this region as local. Tariffs of Speed Post and Express Parcel articles booked in and destined for these four satellite towns lying in the National Capital Region will be treated as local for the purpose."
August 5, 2006 -- According to the Toronto Star, "Far from killing traditional postal service, the Internet has been a boon to Canada Post, particularly on the parcel delivery side. While traditional letter mail is in decline, parcel deliveries are on the rise due to an increase in online shopping. And while big commercial delivery services, such as UPS and FedEx, are also reaping the benefits, most online retailers say the post office is ideal for low-cost, everyday service to Canadian households."
August 5, 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.
August 4, 2006 -- The U.S. Senate has confirmed the following postal nominees:
The Senate also confirmed Mark D. Acton to be a Commissioner of the Postal Rate Commission for a term expiring October 14, 2010.August 4, 2006 -- From PR Leap: "To improve upon extremely successful find rates for both consumer and business addresses, Returned Mail Solutions announced a new Verification process to the back-end of it's current suite of Returned Mail and address data recovery solutions."
August 4, 2006 -- As Business Day has noted, "THE theme for the latest results by the South African Post Office is: "We have come a long way and we have a long way to go". However twee that may be, it is also absolutely correct. Not too many years ago, the Post Office was making an operating loss of about R600m, revenue growth was stagnant, and customers were deserting in their droves. Some were converting to e-mail and other forms of communication, but many others simply no longer trusted the Post Office due to postal theft, poor delivery performance and patchy service levels. Today, the Post Office is in far better shape."August 4, 2006 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Sainsbury's has appointed TNT Post to handle the bulk of its customer direct mail work, amounting to around 20m items of post. The deal involves work carried out by TNT Post's 48-hour Premier service for pre-sorted mail with the supermarket giant continuing to use Royal Mail to carry out the final sort and delivery to customer's homes. Nicola Sharpe, Sainsbury's spokeswoman, said: "Customer retention is vital in our business and therefore communication is a key part of our success. We chose TNT Post based on high recommendations, coupled with the range of mailing solutions they had to offer. "We have been particularly impressed by TNT Post's innovative and flexible services, and are confident our postal communications are in safe hands."
August 4, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
August 4, 2006 -- The Times Record News has reported that "Prepare yourself for postal panic. That's the warning the postal workers' union is delivering, as it opens fire on the U.S. Postal Service's possible consolidation of 139 processing facilities nationwide. In a just-begun barrage of radio and TV ads, the 300,000-strong American Postal Workers Union says such a move could delay first-class mail delivery by up to a week and mean homes wouldn't get their daily mail until evening. A public relations outfit helping to spread the alarm emphasizes that prescription drug deliveries could be dramatically slowed, as well. Oh, and postal jobs are at risk."August 4, 2006 -- The Los Angeles Daily News has reported that "An internal U.S. Postal Service report confirmed Thursday what many Angelenos already know: Mail service can be lousy. The report - sent anonymously to Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles - provides a snapshot of a single day at the mail-processing plant in South Los Angeles. On that day, May 4, first-class mail was delayed six days and periodicals were delayed as much as 10 days as postal officials consistently and significantly underestimated the amount of mail requiring processing, the report shows. Waxman, who has battled the situation for months amid complaints from constituents, demanded Thursday that officials review the delays and recommend ways to fix the problem."
August 4, 2006 -- According to The New Nation, "The Postal Museum, which is housed inside the General Post Office (GPO) in Dhaka, fails to attract visitors due to the inaccessibility of the place. The visitors hardly visit the museum, as they do not know about the museum, which has the biggest collection of postal antiques, said an official of the museum."August 4, 2006 -- It has been learned that the Postal Service is about to lose its chief privacy officer, Zoe Strickland, who will be taking on a similar assignment with WalMart. Congratulations Zoe! Your leaving will be a loss to the Postal Service and to all of us.
August 4, 2006 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "In a move to expand capacity on its trade lanes to the Far East, DHL on Thursday announced it has added five direct flights from Asia Pacific markets to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The new services consist of two daily direct flights from DHL's Central Asia Hub in Hong Kong, and one direct flight each from DHL's hubs in Bangkok, Thailand; Singapore; and Taipei, Taiwan. The flights will add eight tons to DHL's daily capacity."August 4, 2006 -- The U.K.'s Postal Services Commission (Postcomm) has issued its Decision Document entitled Exceptions to Royal Mail's Universal Collections Service'. The Postal Services Act 2000 established the Postal Services Commission (Postcomm) as the regulator of postal services. On 23 March 2001 Postcomm granted a licence to Royal Mail (formerly Consignia PLC) to provide postal services within the UK. The licence came into effect on 26 March 2001. Under its Licence, Royal Mail is required to provide a universal postal service. A part of such a service is to collect mail at least once every weekday from all post boxes and post offices throughout the UK, unless there are exceptional circumstances identified by the Regulator. The consultation sought views on Postcomm's proposals for a long term policy for defining exceptional conditions where daily postal collections to post boxes and post offices were not possible. The Decision Document published today, following the consultation, can be viewed on the Commission's website at: http://www.psc.gov.uk/policy-and-consultations/documents-by-date/2006.html
August 4, 2006 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "PZU group, Poland's major insurance company, will co-operate with Poczta Polska state postal service. PZU hopes to sell its products at Poczta branches, of which there are 8,350 around the country."August 4, 2006 -- The Scotsman has reported that "A POSTAL worker dumped more than 800 letters and parcels because she forgot her route. She told Royal Mail investigators she had been too scared to admit forgetting her route - which was in her own home town - because her job was "a male-dominated environment" and she feared ridicule."
August 4, 2006 -- Hometown Life has reported that "Novi Post Office carriers have been dealing with a foe more menacing than the stereotypical yappy dog with a bark worse than its bite this summer. Postal carriers from the office have been stung by angry bees 12-13 times already this summer, according to supervisor of customer services Gregory Casseo. He said one worker had to get a shot of Demerol at the hospital to treat swelling after being stung by four bees at the same time."August 4, 2006 -- According to Forbes, "Desperate to get his massive and controversial telecom bill through Congress this year, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska has gone, well, postal: a glossy direct-mail-style brochure trumpeting the legislation. But the two-sided tri-panel pamphlet put out by the Senate Commerce Committee that Stevens, 82, heads is anything but slick. Presumably aimed at fellow senators, it features kitschy shots of the wonders of modern technology--iPods, laptops and flat-screen TVs."
August 4, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Postal workers rallied in the city Thursday in opposition to a U.S. Postal Service proposal to move local mail processing to Indianapolis. A dozen workers turned out for two hours at midday in front of the downtown post office, carrying signs and handing out leaflets that read "Don't let our mail service fall apart," and "Save our postmark." "We're asking everyone to get involved," Kevin McCaffery, maintenance and craft director for Local 2122 of the American Postal Workers Union, told The Herald-Times of Bloomington."August 4, 2006 -- ABC7Chicago has reported that "Chicago's main post office is taking action to help speed up mail delivery in one South Side community. Several residents in the city's Englewood neighborhood called ABC7 about the problem. They are fuming over what they call poor, late and sometimes non-existent mail delivery." Can't be....Service has never been better. Or so we were told in the Postal Service's response to a recent report of the Comptroller General.
August 4, 2006 -- Newstalk ZB has reported that "The list of problems faced by the poor old postie is growing. New Zealand Post is writing to homeowners whose letter boxes are causing problems for mail deliverers because they are too far away from the road. Mike Treen of the Postal Workers Union says there is also concern about boxes with latches that snap back on posties' fingers, as well as boxes that are too high or too low. He says time factors are also a major bone of contention between New Zealand Post and their employees with some posties finding it difficult to deal with the pressure of completing a round on time." Puh-lease!August 4, 2006 -- The Inspector General for the U.S. Postal Service has posted the following reports on the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General website. If you have additional questions concerning the report, please contact Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.
August 4, 2006 -- ALGWorldwide Logistics has announced three new services to better serve their clients' needs.
August 4, 2006 -- From PR Newswire: "Postmaster General Jack Potter has announced the selection of Harold Glen Walker as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President. Walker brings more than 30 years of domestic and international financial experience to the position, having served most recently as Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for Invensys Controls. He also was Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for a significant portion of Whirlpool Corporation's international operations, encompassing 35 nations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Walker has served as a partner at Ernst & Young, one of the nation's leading accounting firms. A certified public accountant, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from the University of Memphis.
August 4, 2006 -- A copy of the slide presentation given by the Postal Service's acting chief financial officer to the members of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee has been posted on this site.
August 3, 2006 -- Air Cargo News has reported that "Guenter Rohrmann, former chairman of Cargo Network Services (CNS) who relinquished that post after many years just this past May at the Annual CNS Partnership Conference in Las Vegas, stepped down unexpectedly yesterday from his top management position at DHL as CEO of Emerging Markets Asia."
August 3, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "DHL, the world's leading express delivery and logistics company, today announced the introduction of five new direct overnight flights from key Asia Pacific markets directly into DHL's International Gateway located at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The new flights will increase the air capacity of DHL's global transportation network by eight tons daily, enhancing DHL's ability to serve current and new customers along the fast-growing U.S.-Asia Pacific trade lane. DHL's new flights to New York's JFK Airport consist of two daily direct flights from DHL's Central Asia Hub in Hong Kong, and one direct flight each from DHL's hubs in Bangkok, Thailand; Singapore; and Taipei, Taiwan."
August 3, 2006 -- The latest Postal Service DMM Advisory has been posted on this site.
August 3, 2006 -- According to the Federal Times, "U.S. Postal Service employees' complaints of discrimination continued to decline in 2005 a trend postal leaders attribute to improved communications and the success of efforts to resolve disputes early on."
August 3, 2006 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "FedEx Corp. on Aug. 1 hiked the fuel surcharge it applies to international air freight shipments to 60 cents per kilogram from 55 cents. In a posting on its Web site, FedEx said the higher fuel fee affects its International Express Freight (IXF) and International Airport-to-Airport (ATA) services. Freight covers heavier shipments than the separate package business, and the fuel levies on air freight change at different times than those for package. For the air package business, FedEx and UPS have both kept their fuel surcharges for August at the same 16 percent level they used in July, and DHL held to its 18 percent fuel fee."
August 3, 2006 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "In the earliest days of postal discussions on "network realignment," top postal brass used to say that they had a plan for proceeding with realignment in a manner that would keep the whole business out of public view, i.e., "under the radar screen" as they would say. Of course, if you follow postal news in the nation's press, you'd quickly note that postal network changes have been anything but "under the radar screen." In fact, nary a week goes by without seeing something somewhere in a newspaper or hearing something somewhere on radio or television that deals with the latest postal "evaluation" of some postal facility or another."
August 3, 2006 -- As PC World has noted, "In a move to increase its online advertising revenue, AOL said Wednesday it will make a range of its software and services free for Internet users worldwide. This is the latest move in AOL's ongoing transition to an ad-supported business model from its traditional subscription-based model. The company wants to bolster a healthy portal and an online advertising business built on content from parent company Time Warner. With this offer, AOL is hoping to attract new users, as well as retain a relationship with the subscribers who drop their AOL dial-up accounts. "By giving AOL's valuable members the opportunity to stay with us free of charge as they shift to broadband, we will significantly accelerate AOL's transition to an advertiser-supported business model," Time Warner's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dick Parsons said in a conference call." You can kiss all those AOL discs in the mail good-bye.
August 3, 2006 -- According to the Allentown Morning Call, "DHL workers have been told they must reapply for their jobs. The company is moving processing facility a half-mile away. Faced with an uncertain future, ABX employees have formed a committee that has asked DHL to hire them at their current pay grade and with the same benefits. Although the ABX employees are not unionized, the American Postal Workers Union is giving the committee free advice and other assistance."
August 3, 2006 -- The McKinsey Quarterly has noted that "When executives in a state-owned company face the liberalization of its industry, they may well encounter a trade-off long familiar to managers reared on competition: to what extent should they lower prices to gain market share or maintain those prices to protect their margins? That was the problem facing an incumbent European postal service eyeing the rapid growth of private delivery services in response to an EU directive calling for postal deregulation by 2009. The incumbent found that competitors were cherry-picking its most profitable segments: business customers and deliveries in densely populated regions. In response, it considered cutting its prices and relying on its superior economies of scale to muscle out the new players."
August 3, 2006 --The Detroit Free Press has reported that "A truckload of at least 90,000 Michigan telephone and cable bills was abandoned in Tennessee last month, delaying their arrival and confusing customers who received bills up to three weeks after they were due. If it's any consolation to consumers dealing with the hassle, the U.S. Postal Service says it will add new steps to track mail crossing the country. Postal Service spokesman Gerry McKiernan said that "One of the trucks got there after our plant had closed. The driver took the tractor and parked it in a yard that's owned by the company he worked for and left it there. We didn't discover it until three weeks later." The Postal Service will now track the arrival of mail shipped with contractors, which has been standard practice only for Postal Service truck drivers, McKiernan said."
August 3, 2006 -- The Home News Tribune has noted that "More than 1,100 complaints concerning international lottery scams were received by the United States Postal Inspection Service last year from New Jersey residents, said U.S. Postal Inspector Edward Steed of the Edison facility. The top cities for victimization are Jersey City, Newark, Toms River, Edison and Clifton, he said. Since the initiative began on international lottery scams in 1994, Steed said the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement branch of the postal service, has destroyed 14.6 million pieces of mail intended for the international lottery."
August 3, 2006 -- TechWorld has reported that "The FBI s stepping up its fight against online fraud with a new initiative called Operation Identity Shieldl. The project, which is already in operation, is one of a growing number of collaborations between the FBI and the technology industry. "It's sort of an evolution of what we've seen in the phishing area," said Daniel Larkin, chief of the FBI's Internet Complaint Center, speaking at the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas. The FBI's anti-phishing effort, called Digital PhishNet, was launched in late 2004 with backing from companies like Microsoft, AOL and VeriSign, as well as the US Secret Service and the US Postal Inspection Service."
August 3, 2006 -- The Lancashire Evening Post has reported that "RESIDENTS in Lancashire have given a lukewarm reception to the biggest shake-up in the postal service in more than 165 years."
August 3, 2006 -- Startups.co.uk has reported that "A majority of small firms believe that Royal Mail's new pricing scheme set for launch this month will increase their costs, new research has shown. Royal Mail will introduce its Pricing in Proportion (PIP) scheme on 21 August, which alter the cost of sending post from being purely weight-based to taking account for the size, length and thickness of the item. The scheme is aimed at reducing fees and making the system fairer, Royal Mail said, yet a poll carried out by the Forum of Private Business (FPB) has found that 60% of firms believe PIP will actually raise their costs."
August 3, 2006 -- According to the Wilmslow Express, "POSTAL staff say they have been briefed by their management on the possible closure of the sorting office at Alderley Edge. Their claim comes one week after Royal Mail bosses denied any such plans. Last week Royal Mail told the Express whispers the facility on Macclesfield Road had been earmarked for closure as part of cost-cutting measures were just a rumour'."
August 3, 2006 -- The Scotsman has reported that "THE Royal Mail yesterday saddled itself with a bill for ·3 million by buying 5,000 bikes for postmen and women."
August 3, 2006 -- ZDNet has reported that "IDC has warned of the music copying threat posed by a new service allowing large-scale CD swapping through the post. La La is a savvy new music site for helping people swap CDs via the US Postal Service, according to a new report. But, the report notes, the system could also be a highly effective way to pirate music."
August 3, 2006 -- DM News has reported that:
August 3, 2006 -- The Washington Post has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is moving to consolidate postal facilities to help lower operating costs, but the plan is drawing opposition from a large postal union and scrutiny in Congress. The American Postal Workers Union is putting on the full-court press to stop the move. It has launched a radio and television advertising campaign in four cities where consolidations are possible, including Cumberland, Md., and plans to expand the campaign to other cities. The union also has filed a complaint in federal court seeking to block the consolidations. Some members of Congress are questioning the plan and have asked congressional analysts for a study. The Senate Appropriations Committee has urged the Postal Service to hold off on any consolidations contested by city governments until the analysts at the Government Accountability Office have completed their study."
August 3, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "The US Teamsters Union has issued a communique stating that workers throughout the DHL system are continuing to become unionised. The union says that it is fighting to ensure that sort workers at ABX Air and DHL have the opportunity to join the most powerful union in the DHL system'. According to the Teamsters more than 12,000 workers in the DHL system are already members, including workers at DHL sort centres in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and elsewhere, ABX Air pilots, drivers at DHL and its ICCs (independent cartage carriers), and workers at the DHL gateways. In the package-sort-and-delivery industry, more than 200,000 workers at UPS are Teamster members and thousands of workers at UPS Freight and UPS Cartage (formerly Overnite and Menlo respectively) are poised to join, it says."
August 3, 2006 -- From the Federal Register: The Postal Service is seeking approval of a one-year extension of the negotiated service agreement with Capital One Services, Inc. The document describes the agreement, identifies certain preliminary decisions, and addresses procedural steps, including key deadlines. DATES: 1. August 14, 2006: Deadline for intervention, statements identifying issues requiring a hearing, and objections to rule 197 treatment. 2. August 15, 2006: Prehearing conference.
August 3, 2006 -- NBC25.com has reported that "Local postal workers painted a picture for concerned citizens. Imagine waiting days for an invitation to arrive in the mail, but those few days turn into weeks. Folks in Cumberland may soon have some big postal changes. The local postal workers union held another demonstration on Wednesday to get more residents in Cumberland to sign a petition saying no to consolidation."
August 3, 2006 -- According to the Indiana Daily Student, "Bloomington is not the only Indiana city that may lose its standard "overnight" same-area postal service, but local postal workers are still concerned with the loss of speedy delivery for local Hoosiers sending and receiving mail. USPS officials revealed a list of 139 American cities -- including Lafayette, Muncie, Kokomo and Gary -- that may lose current postal service standards in the name of the company's bottom line, although Southern Indiana's 474 zip code is still the only area under current evaluation. In protest of the USPS plan, local postal workers are picketing Bloomington's Main Post Office at 11:30 a.m. today on Fourth Street, in hopes of drawing community attention to their plight for maintaining current postal service standards for the hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers they serve."
August 2, 2006 -- The U.S. Postal Service has told the members of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee that the use of the four-state customer barcode would be required on all automation-rated letters and flats in 2009.
August 2, 2006 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "As TNT focuses on the mail and express business, it is seeing improvements. Revenue growth of 5.8 percent across all business segments in the second quarter amounted to $3.4 billion, up from $3.2 billion a year ago."
August 2, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Singapore Post remains on its success path.
In Denmark, a political majority wants to put VAT exemption for government-owned enterprises, such as DSB (National Danish Railway) and Post Danmark, on the agenda. Coalition parties Venstre and Det Konservative Folkeparti as well as the oppositional Dansk Folkeparti believe the enterprises have an unfair special status, discriminating against private competitors.
After the post companies of Holland, Sweden, Finland and Germany had demanded a complete market opening in 2009 (CEP News 9/06), their counterparts in Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Poland and Luxembourg have now spoken up, too. In a joint press release, they declared that the pending reform required caution in order to avoid inflicting great disadvantages on customers.
PostCon AG, one of a small number of consolidators in the German postal market, has been taken over by TNT.
Although no official statement has been published, the French La Poste has obviously adopted its redundancy plan.
Spain's Correos has signed new contracts for postal flights to the peninsulas and Canary Islands.
TNT Express now offers parcel deliveries to private addresses in France.
DPD, the French post's European parcel network, has gained a foothold in Central Asia. Last week, DPD announced that Kazakhstan had become a new franchise area within the network, creating GeoPost Caspian as a joint venture between Globalink (Kazakhstan) and franchisee GeoPost Yurtici Kargo Servisi A.S.
DHL has plans for a new hub in Asia. DHL and the Shanghai airport association had signed a declaration of intent concerning the construction of a new hub.
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.
August 2, 2006 -- Agenzia Giornalistica Italia has reported that "Fastweb has knocked down the competition for the supply of data transmission services for the production headquarters of Poste Italiane (Italian postal service). The contract has duration of four years and a value of 14.8 million euro. With this contract, reads a message, Fastweb will provide Poste Italiane its telecommunications services on Internet Protocol network."
August 2, 2006 -- President George W. Bush today announced his intention to nominate James H. Bilbray, of Nevada, to be a Governor of the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service, for the remainder of a nine-year term expiring December 8, 2006 and an additional nine-year term expiring December 8, 2015.
August 2, 2006 -- NY 1 has noted that "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." That advice comes from Congressman Eliot Engel to the United States Postal Service. For several months now the Postal Service has been conducting a study to see if the Bronx's mail processing should be moved out of the borough and into a Manhattan center."
August 2, 2006 -- As PostalNews Blog editor Brian Sheehan has noted, "The finely crafted Rockford cancellation lives! Good for the employees! Having been through a number of boneheaded, arbitrary reorganizations myself, I can sympathize with the workers who would have ended up moving to other jobs and locations. I can t help thinking that management missed the boat on this one, though. Its clumsy PR efforts allowed the APWU and local politicians to set the agenda and monopolize the discussion. Maybe the Rockford move made sense, and maybe it didn t- we ll never know now. It certainly doesn t bode well for the future of the USPS s redesign plans."
August 2, 2006 -- As DM News postal commentator Cary Baer has noted, "The USPS currently uses two flat sorters. Flats are defined by specific dimensions, but for our purposes consider them to be magazines, catalogs or oversized envelopes. The older, existing flat sorter is called the FSM 1000. It is being replaced in the field by a newer machine called the FSM 100. The FSM 100 ultimately will be replaced by a newer-technology machine, currently called the FSS. The problem for mailers is that these newer machines have less tolerant specifications. The sizes of flats that the new machines can process are more restrictive. This is a big deal for many mailers: As the specifications change for what the machine can process, the postal charge also will change. These less flexible machines will turn many flats that were considered automated into non-automated. The price difference can add 5 cents or more to the postage cost, probably even more when the higher rates are in place next year."
August 2, 2006 -- According to the Financial Times, "Return to sender. The road map for Japan Post, whose privatisation forms the showpiece of prime minister Junichiro Koizumi's reforms, is as tantalising as an overdue utility bill."
August 2, 2006 -- The Atlanta Business Chronicle has noted that "The 2,750 members of the Independent Pilots Association, the union that represents United Parcel Service Inc.'s pilots, will begin voting Tuesday on a new labor contract."
August 2, 2006 -- According to Bloomberg, "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's biggest postal service, said second-quarter profit fell as the company spent money integrating acquisitions and worked to win back U.S. express business."
August 2, 2006 -- From PR Newswire: "The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) today expressed concern over the contents of a business plan framework for the privatization of Japan's postal businesses. The framework of the "Implementation Plan" for postal privatization was released Monday by the Japan Post Corporation, a holding company which will initially own and operate the postal insurance, banking, delivery and network corporations after the start of the transition period in October 2007."
August 2, 2006 -- DM News has noted that "Businesses can continue sending fax advertisements to people with whom they have an established business relationship, with some limitations, according to the Federal Communications Commission."
August 2, 2006 -- HometownSource.com has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service announced last year that it will likely relocate the St. Paul Post Office to Eagan, and now it may include two Minneapolis postal facilities in the move. The Postal Service owns 95 acres of land in Eagan, off of Lone Oak Road and Lexington Avenue, that currently house a bulk mail facility. Postal officials are now conducting an environmental assessment of the site to measure the impact of a possible relocation of the St. Paul Post Office as well as a sorting facility and a hub facility in Minneapolis."
August 2, 2006 -- According to the Journal-Standard, "The decision to abandon a plan to transfer postal sorting operations from Rockford to a main processing center in Palatine is a victory for common sense. It's also a win for the citizens of Rockford and Freeport. U.S. Rep Don Manzullo, R-Egan, who happens to be running for re-election, helped get the decision reversed, proving that when the chips are down, he can rally the bureaucrats in Washington and protect his district. Give Manzullo credit where it's due - he delivered a big win for the people of northwest Illinois."
August 2, 2006 -- According to the New York Times, "As people send e-mail and e-cards instead of handwritten letters and greetings, as they pay more of their bills online and file their tax returns electronically, the Postal Service has started to seem like a drab and tired reminder of the old way of doing things. Yet the Internet is actually injecting new life and a sorely needed source of revenue into the Postal Service. And it is happening with packages millions of them shipped every day, in a journey that starts with a few mouse clicks and ends a day or two or five later at a customer's door."
August 2, 2006 -- MehrNews has reported that "The Islamic Republic of Iran Post Company has prepared a comprehensive plan based on which the company will be ready for transfer to the private sector by the year end, noted on Tuesday the company's director general Mohammad-Hassan Mohebbian. Economic committees tasked with devising a plan of action for achieving the objective -privatization of the company - will be set up in the next week, he said."
August 2, 2006 -- The National Association of Postal Supervisors has reported that "Legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D-SD) to assure that military veterans employed by the Postal Service and throughout the federal government receive the guarantee of veterans preference job protections during downsizing actions. Congresswoman Herseth, a member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, introduced the Veterans Reassignment Protection Act, HR 5894, on July 26."
August 1, 2006 -- The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., have agreed to a new contract for domestic air transportation of postal express shipments. The new agreement continues through September 2013, and supercedes the current contract which was set to expire in August of 2008. See also Reuters.
August 1, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "ProfitLine, the premier provider of telecom expense management (TEM), was awarded a contract by the United States Postal Service to manage its local voice telecom expenses for all locations and branches on an outsourced basis. ProfitLine's expertise in handling multi-location, multi-million-dollar telecom spend helps companies achieve their goals of expense reduction and management visibility."
August 1, 2006 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "The Ethiopian Postal Service Agency said it had launched new services and installed additional post boxes during the just-ended budget year. The Agency has been providing money transfer services through fax messages at 14 stations set up in Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Jimma, Asella, Dessie, Semera, Debre Markos, Gondar, Mettu, Gambella, Assossa, Arba Minch, Robe Bale and Hossaena towns. The Agency has also begun selling mobile and voucher cards at 11 post offices in Addis Ababa city. Some 41 Emergency Message Service (EMS) stations enabling to transmit messages through the Internet have been opened in the country, they said. The Agency secured the profit from money transfer and Emergency Message Service (EMS), among others."
August 1, 2006 -- According to The Telegraph, "TNT, the Dutch-based parcels and mail group, is poised to increase its challenge to Royal Mail with extended mail and parcels services in its 100m-a-year UK business, moving closer to the day when it has its own postmen on the streets. End-to-end business delivery services are being extended to more major cities after successful trials in Glasgow and Manchester. The acquisition of the parcels deliverer JD Williams - with 2,000 couriers - also provides a platform for growth."
August 1, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Japan Post said yesterday it was aiming to earn a net profit of Y630bn ($5.5bn) in the year ending March 2009 - the first time the world's largest savings institution has published a profit forecast. The group, whose reorganisation is seen as central to the reform agenda of the government, did not provide a base figure for comparison for the headline figure. But it said it expected profits at its postal delivery arm to rise more than 10-fold during the same period."
August 1, 2006 -- According to Slate, "Coke and Pepsi, McDonald's and Burger King, Boeing and Airbus this is an economy full of duopolies. One of those pairs, UPS and FedEx, is proving to be a fascinating Rorschach test about the state of the economy. UPS and FedEx both make excellent bellwethers for the stock market as well as the economy at large. They have their fingers on the pulse of trade and services. But UPS and FedEx are sending mixed messages."
August 1, 2006 -- The Cumberland Times-News carries the following from one of APWU's local leaders: "The truth is that the only money saved will be for big corporations. As so often happens in Washington, the consolidation plan was developed because it helps big corporate special interests who already pay lower mail service fees. Advertising mailers who presort their mail will be able to send more mail, faster for less. The bottom line? These powerful companies are using their lobbyists to cut their costs at the expense of the rest of our communities."
August 1, 2006 -- From the American Postal Workers Union: "The Postal Service was forced to acknowledge in testimony to the Postal Rate Commission (PRC) in July that nearly a year ago it had compiled a list of 139 facilities that were being considered potential candidates for consolidation. The USPS provided the list to the PRC on July 25. The USPS consolidation plan will degrade mail service for citizens and small businesses, Burrus said. We will make sure that the plan is brought into the light of day, and that the people have an opportunity to be heard.
August 1, 2006 -- The San Antonio Business Journal has reported that "Direct-marketing firm Harte-Hanks Inc. has acquired Global Address, a United Kingdom-based company that provides postal-addressing software and services that conform to the standards of more than 230 nations and territories worldwide.
August 1, 2006 -- The Journal of Commerce has noted that "Container lines in the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement have recommended a $50 per 40-foot container increase in U.S.-Asia waste paper rates, effective Sept. 1. The Oakland-based group said the increase is part of an ongoing effort to address rising cargo handling and equipment positioning costs in Asia. Waste paper accounts for more than 20 percent of total cargo moving in the westbound trans-Pacific market."
August 1, 2006 -- Logistics Management has reported that "Pressure on logistics costs has been building for awhile, and the results are evident: After declining for most of the last seven years, logistics costs as a percentage of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) are pushing upward."
August 1, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "New from Online Banking Report, a detailed analysis of the obstacles to financial services email marketing. Although users of online banking services are rightfully skeptical about email marketing pitches, they still prefer them by a 3-to-1 margin over traditional (postal) direct mail."
August 1, 2006 -- Bank Technology News has reported that "Low- to medium-volume remittance processors have a new choice for electronic billing and payments processing, and banks have a new competitor in the EBPP business, if not a supplier. Creditron and MyOnlineBill.com are partnering to provide the first product that fully integrates electronic bill payment and presentment with check-based payments processing."