Postal News from October 2006:
October 31, 2006 -- The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest member:
Phillips International, Inc.represented by Jeffrey Hollingsworth, Vice President for Government Relations
October 31, 2006 -- The following reports have been posted on the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General website. Questions can be directed to Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.
October 31, 2006 --Channel News Asia has reported that "Singapore Post has reported a 3.6 percent on year growth in first half profit to nearly S$62 million. The provider of postal services says it saw growth in all business segments. It believes it is well prepared for the further deregulation of the postal services market."
October 31, 2006 --CBS2 has reported that "A letter carrier from New York has admitted controlling a widespread prostitution network that brought in millions of dollars and shuttled women across the country. Thompkins pleaded guilty in a federal courtroom in Trenton Friday to charges of conspiring to launder money and transporting minors across state lines for prostitution. Prosecutors say Thompkins had about 60 women who he sold for sex. The young prostitutes were often housed in apartments and homes in New Jersey and New York, and sometimes Thompkins would trade the women with other pimps around the country. As part of his plea deal, Thompkins will resign from his letter carrier job, which he's held since 1994. Richardson said the postal service wanted to fire Thompkins years ago, but they could not find him." [They could not FIND him???]
October 31, 2006 -- According to theFinancial Times, "In an industry over-staffed with apostles of globalisation, Peter Bakker, chief executive of TNT, the Dutch express delivery group, is a heretic. While competitors evangelise about how global networks are transforming the world of commerce, Mr Bakker enjoys debunking their myths. "Only 5 per cent of volumes being shipped in express delivery networks move between continents," he said. "Our belief is this is mainly a regional game...even in an era of globalisation, what matters most is local and regional strength. "
October 31, 2006 -- TheAmerican Postal Workers Union has told its members that "At the negotiating table, postal management has given a series of formal presentations on the Postal Service's financial position, marketing, and mail volume, which are intended to undermine union demands and justify USPS proposals. The union has countered with documentation of the cost of postage as compared to the rates in other countries; the effect of excessive discounts on USPS finances, the employment uncertainties caused by massive excessing and reassignments; increases in the cost of living; and the need to balance the rights of employees more equitably between management and the employees."
October 31, 2006 -- ThePasadena Star-News has reported that "Postal workers are protesting a recent consolidation that they say has led to degraded services as well as loss of the Pasadena postmark. "This is a whistleblowing effort," said Phillip Warlick, legislative director of the American Postal Workers Union in Pasadena, at a recent meeting to kick off picketing efforts. "History is being lost and this consolidation is an abject failure."
October 31, 2006 --Swissinfo has reported that "Swiss Post has announced that it would be slashing up to 500 jobs over the next two years as it pushes ahead with a major shake-up, a move unions warn they will fight. The state-owned company said these changes should allow savings of around SFr50 million ($40 million) each year without affecting basic services."
October 31, 2006 -- AsThe Economist has noted, "About half a million South Africans now use their mobile phones as a bank. Besides sending money to relatives and paying for goods, they can check balances, buy mobile airtime and settle utility bills. In most of Africa, meanwhile, only a fraction of people have bank accounts—but there is huge demand for cheap and convenient ways to send money and buy prepaid services such as airtime." [Notice? Cellphone banking bypasses the post.]
October 31, 2006 -- As MSNBC has noted, "Wireless use is nearing ubiquity in the United States, Europe and several Asian nations, so the next phase of rapid growth is expected from emerging markets. In Africa, the number of cell phone subscribers rose 20-fold over five years, from 3.58 million in 2000 to 76 million in 2005, the ITU says."
October 30, 2006 -- In its latest DMM Advisory, the U.S. Postal Service explains "How to Determine a Priority Mail Dimensional-Weight Price."
October 30, 2006 -- Thanh Nien Daily has reported that "Three senior postal officials from southern Vietnam have just been summoned to Hanoi for illegally depositing US$1 million from selling state phone cards in a private bank account."
October 30, 2006 -- The Communications Workers Union has called on the Government to end speculation on the privatisation of Royal Mail.
October 30, 2006 -- As CBS News has reported, "To most people Ronald Crawford is just another bum, taking up a perfectly good seat in the subway station he calls home. "Spare any change sir," Crawford chimes on one New York subway. But Crawford says he will never be completely forgotten, thanks to a very small window at the very back of New York's main post office. It's called general delivery, and as CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports, it's a way for people who don't have a home to at least have an address."
October 30, 2006 -- The International Herald Tribune has reported that "The Dutch postal company TNT NV said Monday that third-quarter profit declined 55 percent due to one-time charges related to the sale of its logistics division, but sales and operating profits rose."
October 30, 2006 -- The Telematics Journal has reported that "NAVTEQ has been selected as the map data provider for inclusion with RouteSmart Technologies' Carrier Optimal Routing (COR) solution, which was developed in partnership with the United States Postal Service (USPS). RouteSmart's solution is designed to create more efficient USPS delivery routes and lines of travel, improve customer service and reduce daily operations costs. USPS is responsible for the delivery of mail throughout the United States and plans to deploy and utilize this software nationwide to create more efficient and safe delivery routes. The NAVTEQ map includes in-depth coverage for urban and rural areas together with comprehensive, field verified routing attributes. The RouteSmart optimization algorithms take advantage of the NAVTEQ attributes to accurately optimize delivery route data and to calculate and provide optimized travel directions." See also Directions Magazine.
October 30, 2006 -- AFX has reported that "Adam Crozier, chief executive of the Royal Mail, said he still favours giving employees a fifth share in Britain's state-owned postal service despite being rebuked by a committee of MPs earlier today. Commenting on a report from the Commons Trade and Industry Committee, Mr Crozier said: 'Of course the investment plan in the company and an employee share scheme are linked.'"
October 30, 2006 -- The Wilson Daily has reported that "IWCO Direct, a direct mail company, has agreed to purchase the U.S. 301 plant from Cox Target Media." See also the Charlotte Observer.
October 30, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire:
October 30, 2006 -- Here's an interesting fact from The Economist: "France has a post office for every 3,530 inhabitants, twice as many as Germany, yet fewer of its letters arrive the next day."
October 30, 2006 -- The latest bulletin from the International Mailers Advisory Group (IMAG) has been posted on the IMAG web site.
October 30, 2006 -- From the U.S. Postal Service: "In 2006, Executive Order (EO) 13,392 established new, complex Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) planning and reporting requirements that affect the Postal Service in the administration of the FOIA. Earlier this year, Delores Killette, Vice President and Consumer Advocate, was designated as the Postal Service’s Chief FOIA Officer to meet the requirements of EO 13,392. In accordance with the EO, the Records Office conducted a comprehensive review of the agency’s FOIA operations to determine whether agency practices are consistent with the policies that are set forth in the new executive order. This review provided the basis for developing the Postal Service’s Report and Improvement Plan. The Plan sets forth specific plans for improvement of the administration of the Postal Service FOIA Program and includes concrete milestones, with specific timetables and outcomes by which USPS improvements can be measured. This report was provided to the Department of Justice and the Office of Management and Budget, and is posted on USPS.com (http://www.usps.com/foia/welcome.htm). The text of the EO can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/12/print/20051214-4.html."
October 30, 2006 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "On Thursday, Time Inc. Chief Executive Ann Moore went before the board of parent company Time Warner Inc. with an Internet strategy that concentrates resources on Sports Illustrated, People and the company's business magazines -- the titles seen as having the most online growth potential. The decision to concentrate resources on fewer titles illustrates how the accelerating shift of advertising from print to the Internet is forcing publishers to make tough calls in the scramble to expand their Web sites." [Higher postal rates will hasten the shift too.]
October 30, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Royal Mail's plans to give postal staff a 20 per cent stake in the company have been attacked by a cross-party group of MPs which said there were less controversial and more straightforward ways to motivate the workforce. Allan Leighton, Royal Mail chairman, has been lobbying the government to set up an employee share ownership scheme as an essential move to win the co-operation of employees in restructuring to compete with private sector operators that are seizing a significant share of the market. But in a report published today, the trade and industry select committee said Royal Mail had failed to offer "robust evidence" that such a scheme would improve motivation and had offered little more than "mere assertions" to support the claim." See also The Times, The Guardian, and Bloomberg.
October 29, 2006 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "Two major U.S. cargo carriers this week joined the ongoing industry trend in cutting the air fuel surcharges they apply to heavy freight supplied by forwarders, as FedEx Express said it will charge 55 cents per kilogram for fuel on international shipments, down from 60, and Northwest Airlines announced its second cut in a month and will now charge 50 cents. FedEx was among the last of major international airlines to move off the 60-cent level. Other carriers for weeks had been cutting to 55 and even to 50 cents as falling jet fuel prices hit their separate index trigger points. Northwest had taken its fee down to 55 cents from 60 on Oct. 9."
October 29, 2006 -- According to the Pasedena Star-News, when the question is: "What can brown do for you? Depending on whether or not it stops at our house, it can make or break our day."
October 29, 2006 -- The Times has reported that "AN POST has parted company with its chief operating officer, Larry Donald, and commercial director, Derek Kickham. Both were former ESB managers and had been brought in by the former chief executive Donal Curtin, also from the ESB, three years ago to head his controversial overhaul of the postal group."
October 29, 2006 -- ThisIsLondon has reported that "Commons Leader Jack Straw is to defy the protests over MPs' expenses by giving them another £6.5million a year handout - worth £10,000 each - it was revealed last night. The new grant has been created after the Commons authorities admitted defeat in their attempt to stop some Labour MPs abusing the postage allowance by claiming vast sums."
October 28, 2006 -- The National Association of Letter Carriers has presented the U.S. Postal Service its opening proposal for a new contract. NALC’s opening economic proposal calls for a seven-year agreement which would include a continuation of existing cost-of-living adjustments, with no changes; general wage increases of 3 percent in each year of the agreement; and a pay upgrade of one grade for all letter carriers.
October 28, 2006 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "California Rep. Henry Waxman, the vocal corporate critic slated to run a powerful committee if Democrats win the House, said he would aggressively expand oversight of many large industries -- with a focus on drug prices, oil-company profits and Halliburton Co.'s contracting work in Iraq. In an interview, Rep. Waxman, the senior minority member of the House Government Reform Committee, said he also would boost oversight of the Bush administration, along with "waste, fraud and abuse" across the federal government -- especially rebuilding efforts in Iraq and the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast. The committee has extensive -- and vaguely defined -- oversight responsibilities covering broad swaths of corporate America and the government, and the chairman has the power to issue subpoenas, compel testimony and call hearings." [But what about the Postal Service? Remember that escrow you made Congress put in place? What's to be done about that?]
October 28, 2006 -- According to the Washington Post, "When clothing retailer Gap Inc. embarked on a plan to create an online shoe store a year ago, it turned to its Web customers for advice." [What a concept! Ask your customers!! Why hasn't the Postal Service ever thought of that?]
October 28, 2006 -- The National Post has reported that "Rural Canada has come down with a mysterious malady this year. In isolated pockets across the land, mostly in Central and Eastern Canada, mail isn't reaching mailboxes. On rural routes that have been served without complaint for decades, Canada Post has ceased delivering letters to the end of the driveway, instead asking residents to pick up their mail at super mailboxes or in nearby towns. Major flare-ups of the disease have been spotted in the country around the Ontario communities of Guelph, Markham and Sarnia, plus Fredericton. Our House of Commons spent most of Monday discussing the problem, which has affected 50,000 homes, but no one seems to have any brilliant answers. Like so many illnesses, this one proves, in the final diagnosis, to have largely illusory roots. No, delivering mail didn't become more dangerous overnight."
October 28, 2006 -- The Postalnews blog has reported that "APWU has initiated a dispute over changes to the USPS Handbook AS-805, Information Security."
October 28, 2006 -- The Daily Record has reported that "furious posties are refusing to deliver up to 10,000 letters dumped on a rat-infested river bank last Christmas. They claim they could catch a disease from the filthy sacks and have threatened to walk out if Royal Mail chiefs insist they deliver the contents. The 14 mail bags - thought to contain I around 60 packages, including gifts such as DVDs and CDs, and up to 10,000 letters - were found last week by a dog walker. They were ditched next to a burn in Lanark last December by disgruntled postman Stewart Cochrane, 31. Now, the sacks are lying in a store room in Royal Mail's Lanark distribution centre. But around 70 posties at the depot have vowed to walk out if their managers try to force them to deliver the mail."
October 28, 2006 -- The Ventura County Star has reported that "An Oxnard mail processing and distribution center on a federal list for possible consolidation is not being reviewed and is in no threat of closure, a U.S. Postal Service spokesman said."
October 28, 2006 -- NewIndPress has reported that "The state committee of the Federation of Postal Organisations will observe November 3 as anti-franchisee day, in protest against the Postal Department’s policy to appoint franchisees. It will also organise demonstrations and dharnas in front of the divisional offices and Thiruvananthapruam Circle office. Addressing reporters here on Friday, general convenor Johnson D Avokkaran said that when certain post offices across the country were facing the closure threat, the department’s move to privatise the institution was dubious. Memoranda will be submitted to postal superintendents in the state on that day, he said."
October 28, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
October 27, 2006 -- The American Postal Workers Union has told its members that "In a nationwide day of picketing Oct. 26, APWU locals across the country protested Postal Service policies that put the demands of corporate advertising mailers ahead of the needs of individual postal customers and small businesses." Yessir. Those corporate advertising mailers are real scum. I mean...what do they do that's worthwhile? Ooooohhhh yes! I forgot. The business they bring to the Postal Service pays for the nation's postal system. You know...the money that pays postal workers' salaries and benefits.
October 27, 2006 -- Well, according to the Postalnews Blog, Southwest Airlines isn't too sad about losing a USPS air transport contract.
October 27, 2006 -- According to Washington Technology, "USPS site is much more than just a presence on the Web."
October 27, 2006 -- Fromm Newswire: "OutBound Shipping, a leading provider of automated carrier certified shipping software and solutions has announced that it has received Manifest Analysis and Certification (MAC) recertification from the United States Postal Service (USPS)."
October 27, 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.
October 27, 2006 --Reuters has reported that "Postal services firm Pos Malaysia and Services Holdings Bhd said its largest shareholder, state investment agency Khazanah Nasional, had proposed a restructuring and a return of cash to shareholders."
October 27, 2006 -- TheNunatsiaq News has reported that "The Canadian North airline alleges that Indian and Northern Affairs and Canada Post may have "rigged" last year's $175-million, five-year food mail contract award to the Makivik Corp.'s First Air – and they're seeking to have the decision overturned through a complaint lodged with the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, or "CITT."
October 27, 2006 -- Yes, APWU members were out all across America protesting the Postal Service's facility consolidation plans. But this one headline from KLAS in Las Vegas, really takes the cake: "Consolidation Plan Leaves Postal Workers Concerned For Customers."
October 27, 2006 -- TheRochester Democrat & Chronicle has reported that "Republican Assembly candidates are illegally channeling money through a campaign committee to get steep postal discounts on their last-minute election fliers, Democrats charged in a complaint filed Thursday." Ah, yes, preferred postal rates...part of the Mother's milk of politics.
October 27, 2006 -- The Globe and Mail has reported that:
October 27, 2006 --The National has reported that "POST PNG and Airlines PNG have entered into a joint venture expanding the services of the postal company."
October 27, 2006 -- Linn's has reported that "The United States Postal Service is planning to change its rule requiring individuals to be dead for 10 years before they can be commemorated with a postage stamp."
October 26, 2006 -- According to DM News postal commentatorCary Baer, First-Class Mail volume is slip-sliding away.
October 26, 2006 -- TheNews-Press has reported that "More than 100 U.S. Postal Service workers are marching in front of the downtown Fort Myers post office holding signs that read "Don't let our mail service fall apart." They are referring to a list of 139 mail distribution plants across the country that are potential sites where mergers could be considered by the U.S. Postal Service. One of those plants is in Fort Myers." See alsoKTIV,NewsNet5,WWTI, WCSH, and thePensacola News Journal.
October 26, 2006 --CTV.ca has reported that "Vancouver postal workers who walked off the job in protest of an "anti-gay" booklet are back to work Thursday. Sixty-eight employees, who worked for a medium-sized postal facility in the Commercial Drive area, walked off the job for about 15 minutes Thursday morning rather than distribute a brochure they characterized as homophobic. See also theGlobe and Mail andCanada.com.
October 26, 2006 --IrishDevNews has reported that "ComReg extends deadline for responses to Bulk Mail Access for Postal Services consultation."
October 26, 2006 --Computer Business Review has reported that "DHL, the global express delivery and logistics brand owned by Deutsche Post, has launched a new web-based tool designed to put customers in the driving seat by providing full control over their imports or third-party shipments."
PostCom Podcast Number 1
PostCom Podcast Number 2
October 26, 2006 --Daelnet has reported that "POSTAL Services Minister Jim Fitzpatrick has responded to fears that the £150 million life-line for rural Post offices is to be axed. The Minister claims that an article published last week by Daelnet in which we claimed the subsidy is to be axed is inaccurate and has asked us to publish his response."
October 26, 2006 -- FromMarketWire: "Amicus, Britain's biggest private sector union will today (26,10,2006) criticise Royal Mail for using bullying tactics to force managers to deliver the post themselves. Staff shortages at Royal Mail mean that overworked administrative managers are being forced to take to the streets to deliver the mail. A duty that managers are not contractually required to do but they have been motivated by their commitment to maintaining excellent levels of customer service. The managers are annoyed that they received a lower pay award of 2.9% this year than other managers at Royal Mail who received 3.9%. The union are warning that hundreds of discontented managers are ready to refuse to deliver the mail, an extra duty on top of a workload which has been steadily increasing due to staff shortages. In the last 18 months the Royal Mail have made 3500 job cuts acr oss manager grades."
October 26, 2006 --DM News has reported that "Three-fourths of adults of Puerto Rican heritage read direct mail, according to the Vertis Customer Focus 2007: Opiniones survey released this month. This matches the 75 percent of total adults who read direct mail and surpasses the 71 percent among Hispanics overall, said Scott Marden, director of marketing research at Vertis Communications."
October 26, 2006 --The Hindu has reported that "The State committee of the National Federation of Postal Employees (NFPE) has lodged their protest against the Centre's decision to allow 100 post offices in the private sector as part of the move to privatise the service. State convener of the organisation M. Krishnan warned in a statement here on Wednesday that the employees would go on an indefinite strike if the authorities went ahead with the move."
October 26, 2006 -- TheLedger-Enquirer has reported that "Local post office employees plan to picket today to protest the possible closure of a Columbus mail processing center as part of a United States Postal Service plan to consolidate several area mail processing centers nationwide. As part of a nationwide day of union picketing, postal service union workers and other supporters will hand out informational leaflets today in front of the Milgen Road post office, Columbus' mail processing center, said Clive Cannon, an electronic technician at the Milgen Road location and the Georgia maintenance craft director for the American Postal Workers Union's local branch." See also theLong Beach Press-Telegram,Helena Independent Record,Brownsville Herald, andKCCI.
October 26, 2006 -- ROYAL MAIL managers are having to deliver post regularly themselves because sorting centres are short-staffed, The Times has learnt.
October 25, 2006 --ScandAsia has reported that "Wanting to lower its dependence on external consultants, Denmark's national postal service has begun training its own SAP consultants – in Thailand."
October 25, 2006 -- TheGolden Star has reported that "Five employees of the Golden Post Office received two-day suspensions recently for their refusal to cross picket lines set up by the British Columbia Teachers Federation on Oct. 19, 2005. The five female employees, both inside and rural route workers, waited a year for the ruling, which was handed down in early October, from Canada Post."
October 25, 2006 -- TheGuelph Mercury has reported that "the danger of rural mail delivery will be the focus of a vote in the House of Commons today."
October 25, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL Express International Americas has announced that it is aiming for double-digit growth for its business volumes in 2007, based on forecasts of continued economic growth in the region, as well as the rising need for businesses to have reliable transportation and express delivery services within the competitive framework of globalization.
October 25, 2006 -- DM News has reported that "The Direct Marketing Association has made improvements to its long-running Mail Preference Service that make it easier for consumers to control the amount of advertising mail they receive."
October 25, 2006 --TownTalk has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service must be stopped from consolidating its Alexandria area service into the Lafayette office, Chris Bordelon, president of Central Louisiana Area Local 205, American Postal Worker's Union, said today. The union was going to hold an informational picket Thursday, but the Post Office owns the sidewalks and it would be too dangerous to picket in the streets, he said."
October 25, 2006 -- TheWashington Post has reported that "Postage stamps can be purchased by mail, at the supermarket, even from many bank cash machines. But there's one place you won't be able to get them in a few years -- vending machines at the post office. The U.S. Postal Service plans to eliminate its 23,000 vending machines by 2010. "The heart of the matter is a lot of these machines are up to 20 years old," said Yvonne Yoerger, a spokeswoman for the Postal Service. Translation: Breakdowns are increasing, and replacement parts are costly or impossible to get."
October 25, 2006 --News Aktuell has reported that "Austrian Post ("Austrian Post" or the "Company") is conducting exclusive negotiations with the private equity funds of Odewald & Compagnie and Alpha Group with the aim of acquiring German speciality logistics service provider trans-o-flex and its subsidiaries ("trans-o-flex")."
October 25, 2006 --FedSmith has reported that "In a recent federal appeals court decision, a Postal Service Customer Service Supervisor lost his bid to overturn his firing stemming from charges of misuse of agency funds and failure to timely pay his government issued credit card (GICC) bill. (Allen v. United States Postal Service, C.A.F.C. No. 06-3059, 10/20/06) ."
October 25, 2006 --New Ratings has reported that "Analysts at Deutsche Bank Securities maintain their "hold" rating on Pitney Bowes. The target price has been raised from $42 to $46. Pitney Bowes has indicated that the Congress is more likely to pass the postal reform in 2007 than in the current quarter, the analysts say.
October 25, 2006 -- TheInternational Herald Tribune has reported that "EU regulators on Wednesday approved Dutch postal company TNT NV to sell its logistics unit to U.S.-based private equity company Apollo Management LP for €1.48 billion (US$1.90 billion)."
October 25, 2006 -- As noted in theWashington Post, "Like soldiers, we continue to work on the front line, sometimes feeling unarmed, in hopes that our health and safety needs are met, and that the culprits are apprehended," Dena Briscoe, president of a postal worker support group called Brentwood Exposed, told a gathering of postal employees at a memorial service last week. "We are not offered an apology from our government leaders for their hesitant reactions during the anthrax attacks, putting the mail first and leaving many still wounded."
October 24, 2006 -- According toTime Inc. postal and distribution vice president Jim O'Brien, "I'm a firm believer that mail is good for the American public and the overall economy. At the same time, I also believe that if we're not careful, we will wear out our welcome. The last thing that either the mailing industry or the Postal Service needs at this time is to upset our most valuable customers by giving them excess mail. Now is the time for our industry to be most diligent in our mailing practices and clean up our act!"
October 24, 2006 --KCAU has reported that "A decision on whether to close Sioux City's mail processing center could be close to delivery. Republican Congressman Steve King says the Inspector General of the postal service is almost done with the audit of the facility. The audit will help decide if the operation will be moved to Sioux Falls." See alsoKTIV.
October 24, 2006 -- According toWBBH, "More than 100 postal employees are planning to picket in front of the downtown Fort Myers Post Office Thursday because officials with the U.S. Postal Service are considering closing down a number of distribution centers. The protest is in response to a list of 139 mail distribution centers the U.S. Postal Service is considering closing. The list of distribution centers includes the plant located off Daniels Parkway in Lee County. Already, several centers have closed shop around the country."
October 24, 2006 -- From the U.S. Postal Service: "Postmaster General Jack Potter announced the selection of Michael Daley as Vice President, Area Operations, Pacific Area, Terry Wilson as Vice President, Area Operations, Southeast Area, and Ellis Burgoyne as Vice President, Area Operations for the Southwest Area."
October 24, 2006 -- ThePittsburgh Channel has reported that "The Marine Corps League of greater Greensburg was told last month that post office lobbies they've set up collection bins in for years will no longer allow it. The league said it is going to try to persuade local fire halls to house them instead, but added that it's going to be a big hit for the thousands of kids who wait for those toys every year. The postal service said no group would be allowed to solicit in its lobbies."
October 24, 2006 -- TheGovernment of Canada has reported that "Canada Post today announced it will provide free parcel service for family and friends of deployed Canadian troops for the holiday season. Effective October 26 through January 15, 2007 Canada Post will deliver parcels free of charge to designated Canadian Forces Bases, where they will be forwarded through the Canadian Forces postal system to our troops overseas."
October 24, 2006 --Computing has reported that "Customers using Royal Mail's new online postage service are reporting problems with internet transactions. The new service launched in September allows customers to buy stamps online and print them out as unique bar codes onto envelopes or labels. A Royal Mail spokesman says the system has not crashed and the majority of customers are still experiencing a full service."
October 24, 2006 --AllAfrica.com has reported that "Queries are being raised on the appointment of Catholic priest Dominic Wamugunda as director of a State corporation. The church, by its own laws, does not interfere in Government matters lest it loses its independence. Fr Wamugunda was appointed to the board of directors of Postal Corporation of Kenya for three years."
October 24, 2006 -- TheHindustan Times has reported that "The [post office] department is planning to shed it's sarkari image and get on to the BPO bandwagon by starting a dedicated call centre to provide information to people about the status of delivery of their mail."
October 24, 2006 -- As theTexarkana Gazette has noted, "Big blue letter boxes are vanishing from street corners Look around Texarkana. Look around cities across the nation. Notice anything missing? Mailboxes. Not those little family boxes on poles in front of houses, but the big blue boxes with the rounded tops that have been a fixture on street corners for years and years. They are few and far between today. The U.S. Postal Service has removed more than 40,000 of the iconic mailboxes since 1999, leaving about 290,000 still in service. At least for now. More are being pulled every day."
October 24, 2006 -- TheMalta Independent has reported that "Maltapost has announced that, as a result of public demand, it is issuing a reprint of the 1c definitive stamp originally issued in the year 2000."
October 24, 2006 --The Hindu has reported that "Kerala Chief Minister, V S Achuthanandan, on Monday, opposed the Centre's move to allow post offices in the private sector and said it was against the assurance given by UPA Government to the LDF and employees working in postal department."
October 24, 2006 --Reuters has reported that "Deutsche Post's (DPWGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) express delivery arm DHL Express may conclude a deal with Shanghai Airport Authority to build a hub for its regional operations, a senior Chinese executive said on Tuesday."
October 24, 2006 --Asia Pulse has reported that "US-based United Parcel Service (UPS) has expanded its headquarters here for US$1.4 million and converted it into its Intra-Asia hub."
October 24, 2006 -- As one writer for theFinancial Times has noted, "As the postal sector changes around the world, America is lagging behind. That is a shame, because Americans have much to gain from a deregulated, competitive postal industry - including lower prices and better service."
October 24, 2006 --Handelsblatt has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal operator, is reported to be showing progress with the development of its logistics division within subsidiary DHL and with the integration of the UK logistics service provider Exel. Integration is expected to be completed by the end of March 2007, according to a press source citing management."
October 23, 2006 -- FromCCNMatthews: "Canada Post today announced amendments to the Non-Mailable Matter Regulations prohibiting the mailing of inert of replica munitions into Canada, out of Canada, or within Canada. The new regulations became law effective October 4, 2006."
October 23, 2006 -- TheNews-Press has reported that "More than 100 postal workers will picket plans to consolidate the Fort Myers' Processing and Distribution Center. Postal workers say the consolidation will mean slower, less reliable service and the loss of a landmark if the downtown Fort Myers office is closed and operations moved to Manasota in Sarasota County. The protest is planned from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the downtown Fort Myers Post Office, 1350 Monroe St."
October 23, 2006 --Australian IT has reported that "TECHNOLOGY helped Australia Post lift its revenue by nearly 5 per cent to $4.5 billion in the year to June 30. It posted a net profit of $367.8 million, up $26.6 million on the previous year. Australia Post increased its handling of mail by 1 per cent due to strong growth in international letters and direct marketing, driven by the acquisition of mail and document software provider PrintSoft in 2005. PrintSoft's products allow businesses to create short-run mail campaigns and one-off letters at near bulk-mail rates."
October 23, 2006 -- TheAmerican Postal Workers Union has told its members that "A report by the USPS Office of the Inspector General concluded that the cost savings projected by the Postal Service for the consolidation of a California mail processing facility "may be significantly overstated, and the service impacts are not fully described."
October 23, 2006 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users has noted that "The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and Minister responsible for Canada Post Corporation, recently announced five appointments to the board of directors of Canada Post Corporation. Appointments for a term of three years: Mr. William H. Sheffield has more than 20 years of senior management experience for major manufacturers and marketers in the private sector. Mr. Donald Woodley is currently president and CEO of Gennum Corporation as well as president of The Fifth Line Enterprise. Mr. Hassan Khosrowshahi is the founder of Future Shop Inc. and Inwest Group of companies. Appointments for a term of one year: Ms. Jennifer I. Considine currently serves as senior lecturer at the University of Dundee, Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law Policy. Mr. Gavin Semple is currently CEO of the Brandt Group of Companies, a diversified manufacturing and industrial equipment distribution company."
October 23, 2006 -- FromBusiness Wire: "The Customer Respect Group, an international research and consulting firm that focuses on how corporations treat their online customers, today released findings from its Fourth Quarter 2006 Online Customer Respect Study of the Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Industry. The Overall CRI score for the industry of 6.1 (out of 10) is 0.4 higher than the cross-industry average. It scored especially well in Principles, with a rating of 6.7 vs. 5.6 for the cross-industry average. This indicates that the industry is more respectful of personal information. It also performed significantly better than average in communicating with customers online. The industry scored an average of 5.6 against an all-industry average of 5.0 for Responsiveness. The highest rated company was Yellow Corporation with a CRI score of 7.8. United States Postal Service (USPS) was second best with 7.7, while United Parcel Service (UPS) was third with 7.0. These were the only three companies that scored 7.0 or more, the benchmark level for excellence."
October 23, 2006 --Handelsblatt has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, has reorganised the management of its letter division in response to increasing competition in this area of activity. Marco Demuth, head of sales in German letter business, is to be replaced by four managers, in order to improve customer orientation. The sales department is to be subdivided into a large customer division and divisions for business customers, commercial customers and private customers."
October 23, 2006 -- According toLes Echos, "A group of trade unions representing workers at French post office La Poste has called a day of industrial action for November 14. CGT-Poste, CFDT, CFTC, FO and SUD have called on their members to take part in strikes and demonstrations against the deregulation of the postal market and in defence of wages and jobs in the public sector."
October 22, 2006 -- TheWarsaw Business Journal has noted that "The current monopoly on mail delivery within Poland and other member states will soon come to an end if a proposed amendment to the EU Postal Directive is adopted by the EU Parliament and Council. Under current regulations, Poland and other EU member states are entitled to maintain a monopoly on the delivery of domestic mail weighing less than 50 grams. The proposed amendment to the Postal Directive would eliminate this threshold, thereby permitting private carriers to compete in the delivery of all mail, regardless of size. At present third-party delivery services, such as UPS, DHL and TNT, are permitted to handle the delivery of mail crossing national borders, while facing weight restrictions on the delivery of purely domestic mail."
October 22, 2006 --MarketingSherpa has reported that "Almost every catalog marketer at the show mentioned, with more than a little distain, the *colossal* U.S. Postal Service booth. Instead of impressing them with their racing simulator, doubtful actors and postal service totes, marketers were annoyed at the extravagance in light of rate increases that suck more of their budget. One marketer remarked that she would like to send the postal service a box of promotional pieces instead of payment for one of her mailings."
October 22, 2006 --eCargonewsAsia has reported that "A million people in the express service industry could be out of work in China if a draft proposal revising the Postal Law is passed by the National People's Congress. It will give China Post's express arm EMS (Express Mail Service) the sole authority to handle documents weighing under 150 grams, effectively forcing most domestic express companies to shut down as 90 percent of their business is derived from handling such small items. Domestic freight forwarders as well as foreign express operators expressed their discontent with the draft during a meeting last month with Dong Chaojie, deputy division director of the Legislative Affairs Office (LAO) of the State Council and Da Wa, director general of the Department of Industrial Administration of the State Post Bureau. Attending the meeting were executives of 16 domestic companies as well as representatives from the big four foreign operators - DHL, TNT, FedEx and UPS."
October 22, 2006 --The Independent has reported that "Fears are growing that the Royal Mail is seeking to cut managers' wages as part of a wide-ranging overhaul of the state-owned postal service. Proposed new pay scales have been distributed to managers that appear to show a reduction in salaries. It is part of a wider programme aimed at shaking up the management structure, but some are concerned that it could leave workers out of pocket."
October 22, 2006 -- TheSunday Business Post has reported that "An Post is likely to be compensated if new competitors ‘cherry pick' lucrative, highly-populated areas after the postal market is opened up to competition in 2009."
October 21, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom Bulletin--the best postal newsletter anywhere...bar none? Send us by email your name, company, company title, postal and email address. Get a chance to see what you've been missing.
October 21, 2006 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
October 20, 2006 -- According to the Rio Rancho Observer, "While many people viewed the new contract postal unit at Rio Rancho Printing as a victory, there is still a lot left to do. Lately, postal customers have been complaining about receiving more and more delayed service, and their cries have now reached the American Postal Workers Union. APWU Local 380 spokesman Gene Gabaldon said the late delivery is happening in spite of an increase in carrier in recent months. "The truth is that the Albuquerque District continues to lack manpower to process and deliver mail," he said in a press release. "Letter carriers are still delivering mail late into the night, and there are long lines at postal retail counters in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe and throughout New Mexico."
October 20, 2006 -- According to Federal Computer Week, "The U.S. Postal Service has become a major user of 21st century telecommunications services, including e-mail. Now the independent agency wants to know precisely how much it’s spending on its wireless devices. The Postal Service recently awarded a $2.4 million contract to ProfitLine, a telecom expense management (TEM) services provider to analyze its 34,000 wireless devices at 37,000 postal locations and point out any potential savings."
October 20, 2006 -- From the U.S. Postal Service: "Digger Phelps, the leading authority for sports-related issues on the committee that recommends subjects for U.S. postage stamps, will depart after nearly 23 years of service, Postmaster General John E. Potter announced today. During Phelps’ tenure on the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, more than 2,000 postage stamp subjects were issued, from almost one million suggestions. Two new members have also been named to the Stamp Advisory Committee: Jessica Helfand — award-winning editorial and interactive designer and author — and B. Martin Pedersen, honored graphic designer and sought-after speaker. Both are leading designers in America. Their appointments are effective this month."
October 20, 2006 -- Truck News has reported that "Pitney Bowes Inc. and NCR Corporation have announced an agreement to market a jointly developed interactive kiosk for self-weighing, self-posting and self-printing of shipping labels, among other applications. The self-shipping kiosk – which combines the self-service experience of NCR with the mailstream expertise of Pitney Bowes – will be marketed globally to postal authorities, retailers, package delivery and express transportation firms and other businesses."
October 20, 2006 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that "The National Assn. of Advertising Distributors Inc. (NAAD) is taking aim at the Saturation Mailers Coalition (SMC) proposal in a rate case filing submitted to the Postal Rate Commission (PRC) for simplified but certified addressing in city delivery."
October 20, 2006 -- The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest member:
Oriental Trading Company, 5455 South 90th Street, Omaha, NE 68127-3501, represented by Beth Diekman, Catalog Purchasing Manager.
October 20, 2006 -- Armenia Diaspora has reported that "The Armenian government has reconfirmed revoking an agreement with Converse-Invest company that was granted by it the right to manage Hay Post (Armenian Postal Services) company. Armenian transport and communication ministry said the government has approved the process of giving Hay Post to concession management of Hay Post Trust company. It said this process was managed with the assistance of a Dutch ING consulting firm."
October 20, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Shares of air freight and logistics companies closed higher on Thursday after United Parcel Service delivered a robust earnings report that hinted at a brisk holiday season."
October 20, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "UPS third quarter figures show strong underlying growth in its core business and fairly healthy profits, but problems have emerged in its Menlo Forwarding acquisition. In UPS' analyst call CEO Mike Eskew, and the CFO Scott Davies, admitted that the Freight Forwarding business had lost customers, including "a couple of large customers", apparently due to poor service. Both blamed the failure on integration problems and this is what has triggered the 1200 job losses in the division announced on 5th October 2006."
October 20, 2006 -- The Colorado Springs Business Journal has reported that "Postal route changes are causing downtown mail delivery to suffer. Complaints range from inconsistent service to a week of no-shows by letter carriers. Those who work downtown say the problem is becoming common, and that the post office managers express little concern about the matter. Post office officials said they are aware of the problems and that the poor service is the result of a route change that went into effect a few months ago."
October 20, 2006 -- From Market Wire Inc.: "Cougar Mountain Software has introduced PDF-eXPLODE e-Doc Generator, an integrated program that instantly creates and emails custom electronic documents such as invoices, purchase orders, and financial statements. PDFs make postal costs obsolete. Users can save time and money by turning invoices and purchase orders into PDFs and delivering them to customers without ever putting a stamp on an envelope. No more waiting three to five days for the Postal Service to deliver statements, which means faster turn-around times for receiving payments."
October 20, 2006 -- MyFox Fort Worth has reported that "U.S. Postal officials say they have now started a computerized program to find registered sex offenders working for them around the country."
October 20, 2006 -- According to the Irish Independent, "Rival postal vans rushing across Ireland and the rest of Europe to be first to collect the post and different coloured competing mail boxes by 2009 are possible consequences of new plans to liberalise EU postal services."
October 20, 2006 -- La Stampa has reported that "Massimo Sarmi, the CEO of Italian post office Poste Italiane, has claimed that he is not worried by the decision of EU internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy to open up the non-business postal market to private companies in 2009. He said that the move would force the government to decide which services it wants to offer, and which items of mail could be delivered later at a lower cost. The likely situation is that foreign firms will attempt to break into the Italian market, but Mr Sarmi believes they will not be able to cover such a vast territory as Italy, citing the US example where sorting services are open to private firms but there remains a monopoly on delivery."
October 20, 2006 -- Le Monde has reported that "Jean-Paul Bailly, chairman of La Poste, the French post office, has said that his group has the resources needed to become Europe's leading mail services operator by 2010. In preparation for the liberalisation of the European postal services market in 2009, the French group is aiming to raise the proportion of its next-day mail deliveries from 82 to 90 per cent by the end of the decade."
October 20, 2006 --Despite a US economy that shows signs of decline in some key areas, growth is predicted in direct marketing (DM) expenditures, sales, ROI, and employment through 2007, as reported in The Power of Direct Marketing, the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) annual forecast of direct marketing’s economic impact on the US economy, including advertising expenditures and sales.
October 20, 2006 -- From U.S. Newswire: "The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) announced today the appointment of Jennifer L. Alvarez as director of Legislative and Political Affairs and Tucker McDonald as political director for the three hundred thousand-member postal union. Alvarez succeeds George B. Gould, NALC's long-time lobbyist, who will retire at the end of the year."
October 20, 2006 -- According to Navy Times, "The U.S. Postal Service has tweaked its online services to make it easier to mail packages to military addresses. You can use its “Click-N-Ship” feature, which allows you to pay for postage online, and then print it out. At www.usps.com, click on “Print a Shipping Label.” When filling out the address label, under the “state” pull-down menu, it will give you the option of AA, AE, and APO addresses."
October 19, 2006 -- From the U.S. Postal Service: "We are beginning a new series of articles to further explain the elements in our pricing proposal. The first article is on the Periodicals container rate. We hope these articles help you better understand the changes and prepare for the new prices. Just look for the “Pricing Proposal Insights” banner in upcoming DMM Advisory releases."
October 19, 2006 -- For the first time, Swiss Post International presents the new European Direct Marketing Passport with comprehensive details on Direct Marketing, distance selling, data protection and list broking. The practical pocket-sized compendium of 200 pages will be shown at the “Salon de la Vente à Distance” in Lille taking place from 17 to 19 October as well as at the “German Mail Order Conference” in Wiesbaden from 25 to 26 October. Besides general information on international Direct Marketing, the European Direct Marketing Passport contains detailed specialist know-how for seven selected European countries: Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and Great Britain. Especially mail order companies will find this passport interesting: media for new customer acquisition, instruments for sales promotion, legal regulations, order and payment methods as well as country specific tips and recommendations will help customer relations to become even more successful.
October 19, 2006 -- UPS and Poste Italiane have announced the completion of an agreement for UPS to carry the Italian postal service's international express shipments.* The service is scheduled to start Nov. 27 for the 14,000 post offices Poste Italiane operates across the country. In addition, UPS is finalizing details to utilize the Poste Italiane network for its own pickup and final delivery in certain extended areas of Italy. The contract was announced today by Wolfgang Flick, president, UPS Europe, and Massimo Sarmi, CEO, Poste Italiane, during a joint press conference in Rome.
October 19, 2006 -- UPS has reported solid revenue and profit growth for its most recent quarter on a healthy 5% rise in global small package volume.
October 19, 2006 -- As Eyefortransport has noted, "Standard GPRS mobile phones are becoming a low-cost communications device between truck drivers, traffic managers and Transport Management Systems. the secret of harnessing mobile phones to provide a wide range of logistics services and information is the integration of all in-house and third party systems to provide the data to convert to critical knowledge for the driver and customers. The driver uses the phone as a web terminal, and the driver’s manifest is available on the phone. This provides a job list giving the customer’s details, consignment size and delivery requirements. Any changes in customer instructions or problems encountered during the trip trigger an exception report, which is sent automatically and enables the traffic manager or customer service team to alert the consignee and make alternative arrangements. On completion of a delivery, a PoD report is sent by phone back to the traffic office."
October 19, 2006 -- The Independent has reported on "Why are post offices in trouble, and should we subsidise them?"
October 19, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
La Poste, the French state-owned post office, yesterday sounded a surprisingly optimistic note about European postal liberalisation plans, but warned it wouldwait until reading the fineprint before giving its final verdict, writes Martin Arnold in Paris. "We have no objections to total liberalisation of the European postal market, providing that the universal service obligation remains properly funded," said Marc-André Feffer, head of strategy and regulation at La Poste. La Poste has called for a "pay or play" system, forcing new arrivals in national markets to either spread their operations evenly between profitable urban areas and costly rural areas, or to pay a fee to the incumbent operator.
Plans to abolish the last monopolies in the European Union's €90bn (£60bn) market for postal services will be a "litmus test" for the region's commitment to open markets and economic reform.
October 19, 2006 -- As the Times of Malta has noted, "Maltapost is set to lose its limited monopoly in providing its services, particularly those related to the collection and distribution of ordinary mail, if draft legislation tabled yesterday by the European Commission goes through."
October 19, 2006 -- AFX has reported that "Societe Generale said it has launched a consumer loan unit in Kazakhstan and has formed a partnership with the Kazakh postal service, Kazpost, to sell its services at 3,000 post offices."
October 19, 2006 -- According to The Guardian, "The spread of the motor car and changing working patterns have utterly transformed Britain's rural lifestyles. The village police station, bank, branch line, and church or chapel may have long since disappeared or dissolved into a sporadic presence. Now the local post office, still present in 60% of Britain's villages in one form or another, is under threat from the same political and economic forces that closed rural shops and chapels."
October 19, 2006 -- From Canada NewsWire: "Staples Business Depot as part of Staples Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), the largest shredder retailer in the world, announced today the launch of the Staples MailMate(TM) junk mail shredder, an innovative product designed to help consumers combat identity theft from the comfort of their kitchen or home office. Ferocious and compact, the Staples MailMate(TM) shreds unopened junk mail, bank statements, CDs and credit cards and makes protecting your personal information easy."
October 19, 2006 -- According to Tiscali.Europe, "Yesterday's proposal by the the European Commission to open up postal markets fully to competition is likely to run into opposition from some member states, notably France. National operators will no longer have a monopoly on letters below 50g."
October 19, 2006 -- Noticias has posted "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on [European] Postal Services."
October 19, 2006 -- The Washington Post has reported that "In a nod to the past, Woodbine Ace Hardware has opened a post office in its store to serve the growing population of the Woodbine subdivision in western Prince William county. Brenda Pitkin, owner of the store and two other Ace Hardware stores in the county, said she was approached by residents to open a post office because no postal services were available for miles from the Independent Hill neighborhood."
October 19, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL has released a statement confirming that construction work at its European hub, which began at the start of 2006, is on schedule. Klaus Zumwinkel, the Chairman of the Board of Management at Deutsche Post World Net, briefed German Chancellor Angela Merkel, German Transportation Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee and Saxony Premier Georg Milbradt on the project's progress during an on-site visit."
October 19, 2006 -- According to the Center for Media Research, "According to new research by The Media Audit, affluent working women with family incomes of $75,000 or more are growing in number and 94.3 percent access the Internet during an average month. From 2004 to 2005 the percent of affluent working women making five or more purchases on the Internet increased from 54.1 percent to 56.6 percent. The percent making 12 or more purchases in the same years increased from 30.0 percent to 32.2."
October 19, 2006 -- From PR Web: "OutBound Shipping, a leading provider of automated carrier certified shipping software and solutions has announced that it has received Manifest Analysis and Certification (MAC) recertification from the United States Postal Service (USPS). The USPS MAC certification program is a rigorous examination of shipping software and solutions for pricing and processing accuracy and for integration ability with the USPS. It was developed in cooperation with the mailing industry to evaluate and establish a foundation for a high standard of quality within the industry."
October 19, 2006 -- Purchasing.com has reported that "The transportation management systems (TMS) market is expected to report continued growth in the next five years, fueled by increasing interest among third-party logistics providers, and the growing need for companies to gain visibility into logistics costs."
October 19, 2006 -- As The Times has noted, "European Union countries came under pressure yesterday to follow Britain’s example and open their postal services to full-scale competition by January 2009. Britain welcomed the initiative, stating that “a fully liberalised European Union postal services market is a benefit to consumers, businesses and industry organisations” and would boost the Continent’s overall competitiveness."
October 19, 2006 -- DubaiCityGuide has noted that "After several months of preparations, Emirates Post is set to host the biggest gathering of heads of global postal corporations and experts from mail industry at the UPU Strategy Conference to be held in Dubai from November 14 to 16, 2006, under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. This is the first Strategy Conference to be held outside Switzerland, and will be attended by expert speakers and VIP participants, including Ministers, from 130 UPU member countries at Grand Hyatt Dubai."
October 18, 2006 -- Mailers have told the Postal Rate Commission that:
On October 16, 2006, in Presiding Officer’s Ruling No. R2006-1/83, the Commission "designated for inclusion in the evidentiary record" a number of discovery responses filed by the Postal Service after the August 30 close of hearings on the Postal Service’s direct testimony. The hearing requirements of 39 U.S.C. § 3624(a), and the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act incorporated by that section, entitle participants in Commission rate cases to discovery, cross-examination and rebuttal of cost data that raise material disputed issues of fact. The attribution of city carrier costs is one of the most important, complex, controversial and fact-laden tasks that the Commission faces. For the 2004 data and analyses to which the undersigned parties object here, this testing has not begun. The Postal Service has not asked the Commission to adopt the data or results, and neither the Postal Service nor the Commission has proffered a witness for discovery or cross-examination concerning the material. Moreover, too little time remains in this proceeding to allow adversarial testing to occur. Under the circumstances, giving evidentiary weight to the 2004 data in the POIR responses would be a fundamental violation of due process.
October 18, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Postage stamps can be purchased by mail, at the supermarket, even from many bank cash machines. But there's one place you won't be able to get them in a few years _ vending machines at the post office. The U.S. Postal Service plans to eliminate its 23,000 vending machines by 2010, the agency said in a recent internal memo."
October 18, 2006 -- The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers has told its members that "From a mail classification perspective, R2006-1 is probably the most comprehensive rate case we have ever seen. The USPS designed the case to cover the costs that are directly attributable to each individual class of mail. On September 27, the USPS proposed rules to provide the mailing standards that would accompany the new prices if R2006-1 is adopted. Comments on these sweeping changes are due to the USPS on or before November 13. Remember, it has been said before that the “devil is in the details.” To find out more about these details read today’s Alliance Report 06/21."
October 18, 2006 -- The Statesman has reported that "UPS recently confirmed a still undetermined number of layoffs in its 2,000-employee Supply Chain Solutions unit, even though that unit is a critical part of its current growth strategy. SCS engineers and manages transportation networks for large corporate clients."
October 18, 2006 -- From Europa: "The European Commission has put forward a proposal to open EU postal markets fully to competition by 2009, in line with the agreed target date set out in the current Postal Directive. On the basis of extensive research, the Commission believes that this is the best way to maintain universal service while further improving quality and choice for EU consumers and businesses. Full market opening will mean that national operators will no longer have a monopoly on mail below a certain weight (currently a maximum of 50 grams), known as the 'reserved area'. Member States will be allowed a flexible choice of means to finance universal service provision or the possibility to share out the universal service obligation between operators. The proposal provides further clarification on how this can be achieved. The proposed new Directive is the final step in a long reform process that has already seen large areas of EU postal markets opened to competition, with very positive results."
October 18, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "The European Union’s €90bn market for postal services will from 2009 be opened to full, cross-border competition, according to a European Commission proposal unveiled in Brussels on Wednesday. At present, one of the biggest and most lucrative segments of the post market - the market for mail weighing less than 50 grammes - is still reserved for national monopolists such as Deutsche Post in Germany and La Poste in France. This last “reserved area” would be abolished under the Commission plan - a prospect that has caused deep unhappiness in several member states, including France." See also Forbes and the International Herald Tribune.
October 18, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "Pilots at FedEx Express, a unit of package delivery company FedEx Corp. have overwhelmingly ratified a new four-year labor contract."
October 18, 2006 -- According to the BBC, "A Belfast subpostmistress has accused the government of "eating away" at the income of post offices "by stealth".
October 18, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Spain's Correos is expecting a dramatic profit slump in 2007. News portal "terra" (11.10) reported that the post was counting on a pre-tax profit of merely 117m euros. On 2005, Correos showed a 240.4m euros result (CEP News 22/06). If the forecast is correct, the operating result would be even lower than the 2005 net profit (177.2m euros). Correos remains dependent upon traditional mail service operations.
Last week, Germany's Federal Cartel Office authorised the takeover of consolidator PostCon by TNT. TNT claims it can now reach 90% of all German households.
The four leading French trade unions CGT, CFDT, CFTC and Sud des Agents de La Poste are campaigning against signs of market liberalisation. They are planning to hold a joint action week in November, which will include rallies and a one-day nationwide strike. The unions urge Finance Minister Francois Loos to enter into a dialogue and expect "clear answers" concerning the future status of La Poste and pensions for postal workers.
The Czech post Ceska Posta achieved an increase in operating result to 1bn CZK, or 35.4m euros, during the first nine months of the current financial year (+4%). Turnover went up by 2% to 247.5m euros. The post is expecting to increase its profit by 4% for the whole financial year.
Posta Romana is expecting to earn a profit of around 20m euros this year.
Austria's Osterreichische Post has acquired 100% of Croatian direct marketing enterprise Weber Escal.
Poste Italiane's hybrid service subsidiary Postel Spa achieved a net profit of 2.5m euros during this year's first half. The figure represents a 400% increase on last year.
Mexico's post Sepomex intends to invest 12m USD in a new IT system, which will enable customers to pay their electricity, phone and gas bills at the post office. A company spokesperson explained that the new system would be available at 500 post office counters in 157 branches, covering the most important cities in the different Mexican regions. The new system was another step toward the automation and modernisation of the Mexican post.
In-night service provider Night Star Express and mail consolidator Freesort are becoming partners of new German mail network system Xanto.
From this Monday, Royal TPG Post is officially called Royal TNT Post. The renaming in the Netherlands, which is supported by a vast PR and advertising campaign, is a further step in the post's company streamlining and harmonisation policy.
Post Danmark is moving into the forwarding business. Last week, the post confirmed ongoing talks with Transportgruppen A/S concerning the purchase of 51% of the company.
DHL France is the object of industrial action this Tuesday. Three trade unions have called for a strike to secure jobs and to highlight their willingness to take industrial action. According to the unions, DHL is about "to make decisions with severe consequences for all categories of employees".
The Czech Republic is increasingly becoming the centre of European goods transport.
Posten Norge has taken over Norwegian Grenland Transport & Industriservice AS (GTI). Founded in 2000 and specialising in LTL and distribution services.
"I love France." FedEx chairman and CEO Fred W Smith thinks France is the ideal location for business activities when aiming to access the European market. This at least is the bottom line of an advertising campaign directed at business leaders about to choose their gateway out of France.
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.
October 18, 2006 -- NineMSN has reported that "Australia Post has arrested a decline in letters, thanks mainly to growth in promotional mail volumes, as it delivered a 7.8 per cent lift in net profit. The government-owned Australia Post has experienced weakening demand in letters being sent in recent years as many increasingly rely on the internet to send documents and messages. But "snail mail" has fought back in 2005/06, growing by half a per cent or 28 million letters. In its annual results tabled in parliament, Australia Post produced a $367.9 million net profit struck off a record revenue of $4.53 billion."
October 18, 2006 -- ZDNet Australia has reported that "More than 12,000 radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are being used in letters every month to track the delivery of mail by Australia Post. The government business enterprise has replaced manual monitoring of mail delivery with RFID tags."
October 18, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "Thousands of subpostmasters will present what they say is Britain's biggest-ever domestic petition at Downing Street on Wednesday to demand the government safeguard the future of 14,500 local post offices. Around 2,500 have been shut in urban areas in recent years while the remaining network lost 111 million pounds last year, largely through the loss of vital government contracts. The 4 million names, collected at post offices across the country will be the largest domestic petition ever presented to a prime minister, said the rally's organisers, the National Federation of SubPostmasters (NSFP)." See also the BBC.
October 18, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "The Chief Executive Officers of five major postal operators representing 60 percent of postal mail volume in Europe have met in Brussels in an attempt to demonstrate that postal market liberalisation is working in their countries and that they are ready for full market opening in 2009. In a joint event which took place in Brussels, the group intends to demonstrate that full market opening must take place in 2009 to allow postal operators to benefit from changes that are changing the global communications market. The group supports the Commission's aim to complete the internal market for postal service."
October 18, 2006 -- The Guardian has reported that "The European commission will today challenge a hard core of protectionist countries and propose full-scale liberalisation of EU postal services by January 2009. Charlie McCreevy, internal market commissioner, will urge governments and MEPs to allow complete competition among all forms of mail, including letters below the weight of 50g (1.76oz). Britain lifted this final restriction three years ahead of schedule on January 1, allowing 18 licensed operators to erode the 350-year-old monopoly of Royal Mail. But a posse of countries, including France, Belgium, Italy and Spain, will resist the commission's proposals and demand a longer transition period." See also the BBC and the Wall Street Journal.
October 18, 2006 -- According to the Western Morning News, "Postal workers at a Devon sorting office would breach a "return to work agreement" if they carry out their threat of strike action at Christmas over work conditions, the Royal Mail has claimed."
October 18, 2006 -- Deepikaglobal has reported that "Chief Post Master General (PMG) of Maharasthra and Goa, K NoorJehan said that the postal department needs to focus its energy in building a strong consumer base, in the face of tough competition from unregulated players such as the courier servcies."
October 18, 2006 -- Les Echos has reported that "La Poste, the French national postal services group, plans to invest 15.8m euros in the Nord and Pas-de-Calais regions, to modernise and maintain its post offices. There are 30 post offices in the Nord region and 35 in Pas-de-Calais."
October 18, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "The head of Europe’s largest postal group on Tuesday welcomed an ambitious drive to throw open the region’s €90bn ($113bn, £61bn) market for postal services to full competition by 2009, but warned that a majority of governments was opposed to the plan."
October 17, 2006 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Breaking up the European Union's national postal monopolies won't compromise the commitment to universal services, Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said on Tuesday. The commission is insisting that national governments fully open their postal markets to competition by Jan. 1 2009, and McCreevy is trying to ensure that countries meet that deadline. The goal is to reduce costs and improve services by introducing competition. "Simply standing still may trigger increased electronic substitution, reduce innovation and also trigger a weaker focus on consumer needs," McCreevy said during a commission event. McCreevy pointed to the U.K.'s Royal Mail PLC, which ended a 350-year-old monopoly, and the Swedish market, which was opened to competition 13 years ago, as examples showing that full liberation was possible by the deadline." See also Reuters.
October 17, 2006 -- Forbes has reported that "The chief executives of Deutsche Post AG, Sweden's Posten AB, Finnish post office Suomen Posti Oyj, TNT NV and the UK's Royal Mail have said that they believe postal market liberalisation is already working in their countries and that they are 'ready for full market opening in 2009'."
October 17, 2006 -- AFX has reported that "`The European Commission will announce the next step in its liberalisation of Europe's postal services tomorrow, with deliveries of letters under 50 grams open to competition by 2009."
October 17, 2006 -- The Boston Herald has reported that "Neighbors said Alan J. Gagne, 20-year-veteran of the U.S. Postal service, had a real sense of duty about his job. He was a quiet man, they said, who would leave notes, warning residents on his route when he went on vacation. But when Gagne didn’t return from deliveries Friday, his boss found he may not have been as dedicated to the route as they thought. At his apartment, his boss found Gagne dead from an apparent heart attack. The supervisor also found stacks of undelivered mail stuffed in closets and cabinets. The oldest article so far was dated in the 1990s, according to Post Office officials. But as of Monday they had not finished cataloging the four or five truckloads of undelivered mail."
October 17, 2006 -- According to ZDNet Australia, "Australia Post is tight-lipped on the progress of its Microsoft infrastructure upgrade after it was revealed it terminated a contract with EDS after just five months."
October 17, 2006 -- According to the BBC, "A recent report to the French Senate on the state of La Poste made depressing reading. In 1996, it said, the German and French post offices had been more or less on a par. Eight years later, the turnover of the German post office was double that of France's; its profits were eight times bigger, and internal investment was three times as high. On top of that, the quality of the German service was improving, with a next-day delivery rate of 90%, compared to 75% in France. The difference, of course, was that Germany had privatised and reformed its postal service, while France's venerable public institution, complete with 330,000 staff and 17,000 bureaux, had stayed stock still. "La Poste remains fixated on the era of the monopoly," the Senate report thundered. "Its unique status... served as a fig-leaf for inertia, instead of being a goad to modernisation, which is the only way to survive." [What? No, wait. Yes, it IS about France. For a moment, with all this monopoly fixation stuff, it sounded as if the subject was the U.S. Postal Service.]
October 17, 2006 -- Canada Post turns 25 today. But according to Deborah Bourque, National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, "Canada Post has lost site of its own mandate," said Bourque. "Canada Post President and CEO keeps telling the public that she runs a commercial enterprise with a business mandate."
October 17, 2006 -- The Prague Daily Monitor has reported that "Ceska posta, the Czech Post Office, raised gross profit by 4 percent year-on-year to CZK 1 billion in the first nine months of the year. Sales from postal operations added almost 2 percent to CZK 7 billion, while sales from agency services to clients rose by 5 percent to CZK 1.5 billion. Ceska posta also expects a 4 percent rise in profits for the full year. In 2005, it made net profits worth CZK 667 million, a year-on-year increase by half. Gross profits reached CZK 920 million."
October 17, 2006 -- The Denver Post has reported that "The freight division of Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx will break ground this morning on an expanded distribution facility that could bring additional jobs to Commerce City."
October 17, 2006 -- DM News has reported that:
October 17, 2006 -- According to China Economic Net, It's the "right time to further postal service reform."
October 17, 2006 -- According to Forbes, "Deutsche Postbank AG could consider a tie-up in a wide variety of areas with the postal savings bank to be created in Japan next year, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reportd, quoting chief executive Wulf von Schimmelmann. The privatization of Japan Post's operations is set to begin in October 2007."
October 17, 2006 -- PostCom members! The latest issue of the PostCom Postal Policy Report has been posted on this site.
October 17, 2006 -- the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General has posted the following on its website. If you have additional questions concerning the report, please contact Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.
October 17, 2006 -- The National Association of Advertising Distributors has issued a white paper in which it said that "the [Saturation Mailers Coalition] 'Simplified but Certified document is actually an appeal to the United States Postal Service to allow mail prepared with simplified addresses to be delivered to city carrier routes. (Simplified address mail is already permitted on rural routes, and on city routes if sent by specific government offices.) The SMC proposal is presented in the context of eliminating the need for Detached Address Labels (DALs); a surcharge for the use of DALs was proposed in the case by the Postal Service. During his testimony, Mr. Gorman states that SMC acknowledges that a decision to extend “simplified addressing” from rural routes to city delivery routes is a Postal Service operational determination outside the Commission’s control. We agree and, therefore, question if the Postal Rate Commission is the proper venue for this proposal, especially because no testimony has been submitted by the Postal Service or by SMC to address the cost and rate implications of SMC’s proposal."
October 17, 2006 -- The Nigerian Tribune has reported that "Debts amounting to over N1 million owed the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) by customers in Akwa Ibom state may hamper its effective delivery of services in the state."
October 17, 2006 -- The Evening Standard has reported that "Thousands of post offices will be closed in a radical Government plan supposed to rescue the struggling service, it has emerged. Trade and industry secretary Alistair Darling signalled a huge round of closures by saying that the loss-making industry cannot remain as it is."
October 16, 2006 -- From PR Newswire: "The Hershey Company and the United States Postal Service today unveiled the 2007 edition of the LOVE Series stamp, entitled "With Love and Kisses." The Hershey's Kisses brand is the new centerpiece of the popular LOVE stamp series, making it the first chocolate product selected for placement on a stamp. The "With Love and Kisses" stamp will be available beginning in January 2007 in conjunction with Hershey's Kisses 100th anniversary celebration."
October 16, 2006 -- Process and Control Today has reported that "Danaher Motion in Stockholm, a leading global manufacturer of motion control products, has won first prize in the prestigious logistics contest in Sweden - Posten Logistics Award."
October 16, 2006 -- According to the Press and Journal, "A More efficient postal service is probably one of the few commonly held views in Scotland. We want our letters delivered on time and we want to be able to post our mail with as little fuss, and expense, as possible. To do one, it seems, may well make the other impossible in rural parts of Scotland."
October 16, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
October 16, 2006 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG's DHL express- delivery division plans to spend $150 million for nearly half of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc.'s Polar Air Cargo unit, gaining access to extra aircraft in key markets. DHL will pay cash to acquire a 49 percent holding in Polar, including a 25 percent voting interest, Atlas said today in a statement on Business Wire."
October 16, 2006 -- According to The Scotsman, "ROYAL Mail chairman Allan Leighton is understood to be fighting on two fronts as the government is reported to be cool on his share-giveaway plans to staff and unions threaten possible action over Royal Mail managers having to reapply for their jobs. A Royal Mail spokesman said yesterday it was "pure speculation" that Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling and Leighton were at odds about the scheme to give each of the company's 200,000 postal workers shares worth up to £5,000. The employee incentivisation is a central part of Royal Mail's £1.75 billion rescue plan.
October 16, 2006 -- ePolitix.com has reported that "Ahead of a debate in parliament, the Liberal Democrats have accused the government of making "disastrous" decisions about the future of the Post Office network. The party is raising awareness of struggling local post offices in the Commons debate because it says ministers to do not care about the issue."
October 16, 2006 -- Scoop.co.nz has posted the text of a speech entitled: "NZ Post's contribution to economic transformation."
October 16, 2006 -- Mediaweek has reported that "Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his associates repeatedly sought payment from the Magazine Publishers of America and Primedia's Channel One as they orchestrated lobbying campaigns in Washington, according to a Senate report. According to the Senate report, a lobbyist with Abramoff’s firm suggested funneling $10,000 from a contract with the Magazine Publishers of America to the group Citizens Against Government Waste for help in devising arguments against a proposed postal rates increase. The president of Citizens Against Government Waste, Tom Schatz, told Senate investigators the Magazine Publishers had donated to his group, but did not require any activity. Schatz said his group had a history of working on issues of perceived waste at the Postal Service, according to the Senate report. The MPA said it may have been victimized by Abramoff. Abramoff has pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy and could soon go to prison." A full copy of the Senate report is available on the Senate web site.
October 16, 2006 -- DM News has reported that "Markus F. Wilhelm, CEO of book publisher Bookspan, has been elected chairman of the Direct Marketing Association’s board of directors for 2007. He succeeds Stephen M. Lacy, president and chief operating officer of Meredith Corp., who was elected DMA chairman for 2006."
Mr. Wilhelm, a stalwart support of the Association for Postal Commerce, was a recipient of PostCom's Stan Woodruff Award, which was granted in recognition of his extraordinary service to the Association for Postal Commerce. Congratulations, Markus. We wish you good fortune in the year ahead.
October 16, 2006 -- Be sure to check the PostInsight web site where you can find the following papers:
October 16, 2006 -- Now here's an interesting site provided by one of our correspondents. It features pictures of post offices all over the U.S.
October 15, 2006 -- In his latest perspective for Direct magazine, postal commentator Gene Del Polito said that "The Governors of the Postal Service could easily put mailers' anxiety to rest by simply declaring that no rate changes will be made until mailers have been given sufficient time to accommodate them. Absolutely nothing prohibits the Governors from announcing at their next public meeting that new rates will not be implemented before July 2007."
October 15, 2006 -- The Independent has reported that "The Royal Mail is forcing managers to reapply for their jobs, putting it on a collision course with a leading union and at risk of industrial action. The state-owned postal service is reviewing its management structure, and has asked a number of managers to reapply as part of the process."
October 15, 2006 -- The Irish Times has reported that "EU internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy will propose a law opening the European postal market to full competition in 2009. The controversial directive would prevent governments from protecting their state-owned postal firms by banning rivals from operating in certain sensitive postal sectors. In Ireland, it could pave the way for competitors to An Post to offer door-to-door deliveries of mail, combined email and letter deliveries and to sell their own stamps."
October 15, 2006 -- The Houston Chronicle has noted that "Morgan Stanley on Friday initiated coverage of FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc., saying the package delivery companies should have a solid pricing and rate environment in 2007."
October 15, 2006 -- PhillyBurbs.com has reported that "If it seems as if there are fewer folks staffing the windows at your local post office, there probably are. With alternative shipping options from national carriers such as UPS and FedEx and a drop in most types of mail — except junk mail, known as “standard” mail by the post office — the United States Postal Service is cutting back its ranks and automating whatever it can."
October 15, 2006 -- According to the Sunday Herald, "SCOTTISH campaigners have expressed concerns that the amount of junk mail is set to rise. The Royal Mail is in talks with the Communications Workers Union to increase door-to-door deliveries of un-addressed leaflets and letters, currently at an agreed maximum of three items a week. They say they need to take on more contracts to deliver direct mail “to compete with other mailing companies”. Last week, however, Lord Bruce Lockhart, chairman of the Local Government Association, the body which represents councils in England and Wales, wrote to the Royal Mail expressing concerns about the possible rise because of the environmental implications of more printed paper, glossy envelopes and catalogues ending up as landfill. He claimed councils are struggling to cope with more than 78,000 tonnes of junk mail binned each year. Now Scottish bodies are concerned about the impact of an increase."
October 15, 2006 -- ThisDay has reported that "Area Postal Manager of the Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST), Kwara State Territory, Mrs. V.F. Ajao has advised the people of the state to make use of the containerised post located in all the sixteen local goverment councils areas of the state."
October 15, 2006 -- The Sunday Mirror has reported that:
October 15, 2006 -- The News & Observer has noted that "FedEx partnered with Kinko's to get into 24-hour stores. UPS teamed up with Mail Boxes Etc. and operates more than 5,600 locations worldwide. Now, it's the U.S. post office's turn. The government isn't planning to go 24/7, but it is trying to be more convenient. First it opened automated postal centers in some post office lobbies, and now it has licensed postal outlets inside retail stores."
October 15, 2006 -- ThisIsMoney has reported that "Royal Mail chairman Allan Leighton is locked in a furious power struggle with the Government over the company's £1.75bn rescue plan. Leighton is under pressure from Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling to back down over his scheme to give each of 200,000 postal workers shares worth up to £5,000. Sources close to Leighton say he is prepared to be sacked rather than compromise his scheme, which involves hiving off 20% of the business to the workforce.
October 14, 2006 -- NewsOK.com has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service has been forced to change how it serves customers because Americans are relying on the Internet to stay in touch and pay their bills."
October 14, 2006 -- According to the Press of Atlantic City, "Mail delivery returned to the Stanley Holmes Village public-housing complex Friday as postal workers got a police escort as they brought letters and parcels door-to-door."
October 14, 2006 -- Guelph Mercury has reported that "Residents in parts of rural Puslinch Township are irked they can no longer simply walk up their laneway to collect mail from their roadside mailbox. Now, they have to hop in their cars and drive a few kilometres to communal super-mailboxes in places like Morriston."
October 14, 2006 -- According to RIA Novosti, "Georgia is re-orienting its mail routes to Ukraine after Russia suspended mail links with its former Soviet ally, the Novosti Georgia agency said Saturday, referring to Georgia Post Office Co."
October 14, 2006 -- According to Postalnewsblog.com, "Bill McAllister reports in Linn’s Stamp News that George Bush plans to nominate Dan Blair, deputy director of the Office of Personnel Management, to be chair of the Postal Rate Commission."
October 14, 2006 -- The Irish Examiner has reported that "THE future of the country’s 1,400 post offices and 10,000 postal workers is under threat from proposals to reform the EU’s postal service. The final stage in opening up Europe’s postal service to competition will be unveiled in Brussels next week by Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy. Under the proposals, An Post could lose its monopoly on the lucrative distribution of letters by January 2009 to new private operators." See also Ireland Online.
October 14, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
October 14, 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.
October 13, 2006 -- Earthtimes.org has reported that "Consumers' postal and e-mail boxes are stuffed with marketing messages. But how do recipients decide what merits attention -- and what gets tossed in the trash? Do "one-to-one" marketing efforts really cut through the clutter? And how are leading-edge marketers putting new personalization tools to work to bolster their response? Those and other important questions will be addressed next week at DMA06 in San Francisco as a dynamic cross-discipline panel discusses preliminary results from their survey of leading marketers designed to determine "What's in the mailbox?" and identify real, actionable opportunities for others to stand apart in the crowded marketing landscape."
October 13, 2006 -- Where oh where has my mail collection box gone? Oh where oh where can it be? If you really want to know, Linn's postal correspondent Bill McAllister can tell you how to find it.
October 13, 2006 -- BÖWE BELL + HOWELL, a leading manufacturer of document processing and postal solutions, today announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership in North America with Sefas Innovation, a leader in integrated software solutions for designing and producing business documents.
October 13, 2006 -- As the Wall Street Journal has noted, "The U.S. population will hit 300 million at 7:46 on Tuesday morning, says the Census Bureau. But it's the 400 million milestone, which the U.S. will reach in about 35 years, that has demographers and economists really talking. Economists predict that market forces eventually will shift some of the U.S. population back to interior states where housing is cheaper, land is more abundant, social services are less stressed and labor is cheaper for businesses. The Census Bureau says the U.S. population will grow by a further 34% by midcentury, even as Europe's population shrinks by 8% and Japan contracts by 9%."
October 13, 2006 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Five conservative nonprofit organizations, including one run by prominent Republican Grover Norquist, "appear to have perpetrated a fraud" on taxpayers by selling their clout to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Senate investigators said in a report issued yesterday. The Senate report released yesterday states that the nonprofit groups probably violated their tax-exempt status "by laundering payments and then disbursing funds at Mr. Abramoff's direction; taking payments in exchange for writing newspaper columns or press releases that put Mr. Abramoff's clients in a favorable light. The groups named in the report are Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform; the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, which was co-founded by Norquist and Gale Norton before she became secretary of the interior; Citizens Against Government Waste; the National Center for Public Policy Research, a spinoff of the Heritage Foundation; and Toward Tradition, a Seattle-based religious group founded by Rabbi Daniel Lapin."
October 13, 2006 -- Postalnews.com (a web site frequented by postal employees) posted yesterday a letter from a BMG-Columbia House to the USPS' chief operating officer which said that current USPS rate plans threaten to put his company out of business. The following are excerpts from some of the comments posted by some of the visitors to this site.
"Fantastic.....the less mail, the less work!!!!!!!"
"Quit selling the Cd's and DVD's for 1 penny for the first order jackasses. Make up the shortfall there and you can then absorb some of the increase and pass the remainder on to the customer. The Constitution calls for Congress to establish this mail service and all men are created equal but don't see where it says businesses are created equal. Guess your lobbyists aren't greasing the right palms."
"It's the beginning of the end."
"Another rate increase? Do rate increases make up for lost business, or is business lost due to rate increases?"
"Out of business so what? Technology is changing. The car put the buggy business out of business, the internet, not postage will put these dolts out of business."
"Their products end up seeming just like rackets anyway. good riddance."
"They ship at media mail rates for next to nothing. Goodbye BMG and Columbia house.
Quite a collection. You'd never know they were talking about one of their "customers."
October 13, 2006 -- The Montana Standard has urged its readers to "Think back a decade or two. Think about the amount and type of mail you sent and received. It was mostly envelopes stuffed with important papers bills, business correspondence and personal letters. Magazines and weekly newspapers also arrived via the neighborhood mail carrier, plus Christmas packages and the occasional parcel from a mail-order merchant (the order for which had been dropped in the mail two weeks earlier.) Today, many Internet-savvy Americans get their business correspondence and bills electronically. They pay their bills online. Much of the periodical information is on the Web. Mail-order merchandise is ordered online and, more often than not, delivered by FedEx or UPS. And the explosion of person-to-person written communication in the past decade has all been via e-mail."
October 13, 2006 -- As the Financial Times has noted, "The earthquake in Pakistan a year ago killed more than 73,000 people, injured more than 128,000 and left more than 3m homeless. While many companies round the world made financial donations, logistics companies such as TNT, DHL, PWC Logistics and UPS were able to offer direct help in the form of trained staff, transport and equipment as a natural extension of their day-to-day operations."
October 13, 2006 -- According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Daniel Ortwerth likens the competition between United Parcel Service and FedEx to the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union."
October 13, 2006 -- The Worcester Telgram & Gazette has reported that "Selectmen agreed at their Wednesday night meeting to ask Fiskdale Postmaster Maureen Kelly to meet with the board after receiving complaints that the mail carrier in Holland told some residents she wasn’t going to deliver their mail anymore because of bad road conditions."
October 13, 2006 -- The Times has reported that "ROYAL MAIL’S biggest rival wants to put its own postmen and women on the streets across the country within five to ten years in the biggest assault on the state-owned postal group’s business. TNT, which has the largest share of the competitive postal market with 1.2 billion items this year, is expected soon to begin a trial of its own delivery system in a city centre and then follow that with deliveries in the UK’s main cities."
October 13, 2006 -- The Herald has reported that "Post Offices at the Crossroads is an apt, if ominous, title for an important report published yesterday. Postcomm, the postal services watchdog, looked at Britain's 14,000 post offices and found the network lost £111m last year, despite a £150m annual subsidy for rural offices. Fewer than one-third of these post offices (which account for a disproportionate number of the Scottish total) covered their costs." See also The Guardian.
October 13, 2006 -- The Norfolk Eastern Daily Press has reported that "East Anglia's sub-postmasters are demanding the government "decide what you want from us once and for all" - as a report yesterday showed that many rural branches are in financial hardship. The postal services regulator Postcomm found that the network lost £111m last year despite a £150m subsidy to rural offices, which is being withdrawn in 2008. It also found that many were struggling to survive because of a lack of direction and support from the government and that the rural network was in particular financial trouble, with only 1,500 of the 8,000 rural offices making money."
October 13, 2006 -- ThisIsMoney has reported that "Royal Mail's chairman provoked outrage yesterday with an astonishing claim that 'the people we deliver to are not our customers'. Allan Leighton insisted big businesses were his priority, not the country's 27m households." See also the Daily Mail.
October 13, 2006 -- The Atlantic City Press has reported that a "postal decision has delivered a blow in Atlantic City. The Atlantic City postmaster decided to suspend mail delivery, with approval from his supervisors, Ray Daiutolo, regional spokesman for the United States Postal Service. The reason was twofold, Daiutolo said. First, there was concern for the safety of the letter carriers making door-to-door deliveries in a complex that has had several shootings in recent months. Also, several times in recent months the police had cordoned off parts of the complex for an investigation and told the carriers not to deliver mail."
October 13, 2006 -- WTNH has reported that "A spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal service says bacteria that can cause Legionnaires' disease has been discovered at two bathrooms at a post office in Waterbury."
October 13, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Lucille Greene, an 88-year-old grandmother, takes baking and mailing about 30 family recipe fruitcakes as Christmas gifts seriously. Seriously enough that she sued the U.S. Postal Service for emotional distress after alleged rough treatment and accusations of being a terrorist from a postal clerk, according to her federal lawsuit. The judge dismissed her allegations two weeks ago. But U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson wasn't entirely unsympathetic. She wrote the clerk "was likely being less than courteous" despite following standing procedures for suspicious packages."
October 13, 2006 -- According to Stars and Stripes, "It’s not yet beginning to look a lot like Christmas but servicemembers overseas might be advised to get their lists and check them twice, now that the U.S. and postal services have announced this year’s holiday shipping deadlines."
October 13, 2006 -- WBIR has noted that "While Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, a proposed postal rate increase has organizers worried about the future. This year the non-profit program shipped three million books to 40 states in 600 communities. It expects to top five million books next year, if higher postal rates don't cause some communities to drop out. McCammon expects new postal regulations and prices would at least double the cost of shipping the books."
October 13, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Norway Post has announced it is to buy Scanex B.V. The acquisition will strengthen Nor-Cargo's market position in the Netherlands for goods going to and from Norway and the Nordic region. Norway Post stated that The Netherlands is an important entry gate for goods going to and from the Nordic region. Scanex is currently a Nor-Cargo agent (owned by Norway Post) and Nor-Cargo is the market leader in the transport of goods between Norway and the Netherlands."
October 13, 2006 -- Going back into the archive...the following popped up. It was NALC's seemingly unconditional support for postal reform. What a difference a day makes.
October 12, 2006 -- From U.S. Newswire: "The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) announced today that its long-serving lobbyist George B. Gould will retire at the end of the year. Gould has served two NALC presidents as an Assistant for Legislative and Political Affairs since coming to the union in 1979. Gould was hired by former NALC President Vincent R. Sombrotto after a distinguished 15-year career on Capitol Hill, the last three of which were spent as the staff director of the House Subcommittee on Postal Operations and Services."
October 12, 2006 -- The Guardian has noted that "While moves made to stop junk mail may have made Roger Annies [the postie who offers to not deliver postage-paid advertising mail] popular with Daily Mail readers, he was less so with workmates who recognised the need to win the new business to retain their jobs. Many postal workers detest junk mail deliveries as much as the pubic but they accept it because they know they need the work."
October 12, 2006 -- The Missoula Independent has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is taking a hard look at consolidating Helena’s mail operations, prompting warnings from union members about slower mail service. On Oct. 4, about 30 people picketed at Helena’s post office to draw attention to the issue. Janet Kosnik, president of Helena’s American Postal Workers Union, says eliminating Helena’s outgoing mail operations in favor of trucking mail to Great Falls could result in earlier collection times, later delivery times and longer in-transit periods."
October 12, 2006 -- The Prague Post has reported that:
October 12, 2006 -- Politics.co.uk has reported that "The Countryside Alliance calls on the Government to break their deafening silence over the future of the rural Post Offices network, echoing the latest report from postal services watchdog Postcomm. Over 14,000 sub-Post Offices face uncertainty over the future of £150m of Government subsidies after 2008, whilst important contracts such as TV licensing and the Post Office Card Account have already been lost. Countryside Alliance Director of Campaigns Robert Gray commented: “Post Offices are facing death by 1,000 cuts, with the Government failing to make a decision on the future of Post Office subsidies whilst services are removed one by one."
October 12, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "ProfitLine, the premier provider of telecom expense management (TEM), has expanded its existing TEM relationship with the United States Postal Service (USPS). The current contract has been modified to include mobility devices. In addition to TEM for Local Voice, ProfitLine will manage wireless services for the USPS for Blackberry and cellular devices on an outsourced basis."
October 12, 2006 -- Trinidad & Tobago's Newsday has reported that "One of the directors of Breaking News, a media and website development company, Khan said, “E-mail has boosted regular mail worldwide. Business-es may communicate with each other via e-mail but ink signatures are still required on most legal documents.” Certainly the number of handwritten letters between friends and family would have dropped but postcards remain popular and printed business letters will always be a necessity. People have grown so accustomed to the speed of e-mail that a couple of working days seem like a long time to wait for a hard copy letter, the analysis added. This is why the term “snail mail” is becoming popular but traditional mail is not moving at a snail’s pace at all. It is, in fact, speeding up. The next step for the long-term prosperity of postal corporations would be for them to get into the e-mail business and possibly partner with Internet companies."
October 12, 2006 -- The latest DMM Advisory from the U.S. Postal Service has been posted on this site.
October 12, 2006 -- The Guardian has reported that "Postcomm, the postal services regulator, has added its voice to those warning that the government needs to make up its mind on the future of Britain's 14,000-strong post office network."
October 12, 2006 -- The Hindu has reported that "The Department of Posts is holding talks with the Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited to collect power charges from consumers through post offices, according to Visakhapatnam region director of postal services P.V.S. Reddy."
October 12, 2006 -- According to the Irish Independent, "WITH 400 post offices having closed in the last few years, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the future of rural post offices."
October 12, 2006 -- Postalnews.com has reported that in a letter to Deputy Postmaster General Pat Donahoe, BMG Columbia House executive vice president Clifton Knight said that the proposed new postal rates and regulations “will make it impossible for us to remain in the business of selling music and video products by mail”. Knight asserts that his company will face increases of “62% to 115%” in its product shipments. And if the company is “constrained to stop using the mail for product shipment”, it will “inevitably reduce, if not entirely eliminate” its “use of mail for marketing and promotional purposes”. Knight says the problem isn’t just the rates- it’s the fact that the USPS is reclassifying his company’s product from flats to parcels, even though Knight claims BMG has gone to “considerable expense” to make sure that their CD and DVD shipments meet the requirements for automated flats.
October 12, 2006 -- According to the SunHerald, "The days when the postman wandered up on your porch, had a cup of tea with your aunt, handed her the mail, discussed the mail with her and strolled away whistling are largely coming to an end, said Gulfport Postmaster Robert Paterson. The policy of the post office is that people are allowed to put their mailboxes where they were prior to Hurricane Katrina, but they are strongly encouraged to move them curbside, Paterson said."
October 12, 2006 -- TriValleyCentral.com has reported that "For a very long time now, Arizona City residents have been anxious to know when (or if) they will ever get home mail delivery service from the U.S. Postal Service. Arizona City has had a private contract post office since the first residents moved in decades ago."
October 12, 2006 -- The Manila Bulletin has reported that "President Arroyo has named former Press Secretary Hector R. Villanueva as postmaster general and chief executive officer of the Philippine Postal Corp. (Philpost)."
October 12, 2006 -- The Tide has reported that "The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), Rivers Territory says it has raked in N70 million within the last six months out of the N110 million target set for the territory. The Area Postal Manager of NIPOST, Rivers Territory, Alhaji A. B. Mahmoud who gave this revenue analysis explained that with the 800 mail boxes, almost fully subscribed, the territory is expected to meet the balance of N40 million."
October 12, 2006 -- The Nigerian Tribune has reported that "ABOUT 20 students from various secondary schools in Kogi State received awards of excellence for performing brilliantly in an essay writting competition organised by Kogi territory of Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST)."
October 12, 2006 -- The International Herald Tribune has reported that "The EU will look into proposed changes in the way public sector pensions in the French state postal system are financed to make sure the changes do not give the company an unfair advantage over private companies. The (European) Commission will examine in particular whether the reduction in La Poste's costs brought about by the reform actually ensures fair competitive conditions."
October 12, 2006 -- The Swazi Observer has reported that "NEW technology has made it possible for the postal services sector to track letters, packets and parcels. It was further highlighted that by 2005 over two million electronic money orders were sent using standard messages. The director further stated that standardisation was essential for ensuring the safety and reliability of electronic fund transfers. "Much work still needs to be done, however, we should not lose sight of our goal, which is total quality that will guarantee customer confidence in the postal service," it was stated."
October 12, 2006 -- CNET News has reported that "Cingular Wireless, a joint venture between AT&T and BellSouth, on Tuesday said it filed three lawsuits in a U.S. federal court against telemarketers to stop them from making unsolicited and illegal calls to Cingular customers." [Stick with mail.]
October 11, 2006 -- As Forbes has noted. In the world of alternative communications media, don't count out newspapers just yet. "Newspaper companies have real assets to bring to the table. Despite declining circulation, the daily paper still produces cash flow that many other industries eye with envy. The core content produced by newspapers is the basis for many of the industry's disruptors. Without newspaper content, there isn’t much news for television to report, bloggers would have less to blog about, and Yahoo! News and Google News would be blank pages."
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October 11, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "Balanced Scorecard Collaborative, a division of Palladium Group, Inc., today announced it has named the United States Postal Service and Brigham and Women’s Hospital to the Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame for Executing Strategy™ for achieving breakthrough performance results using the Balanced Scorecard (BSC). The award will be presented to officers of these organizations at the Balanced Scorecard Government Summit being held this week in Washington, DC. “Today’s winners have achieved breakthrough performance results using the Balanced Scorecard and are truly Strategy-Focused Organizations,” said Dr. David P. Norton, president of Palladium Group and co-founder of the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative."
October 11, 2006 -- Kiosk Marketplace has reported that "Pitney Bowes Inc. and NCR Corp. announced plans to market a jointly developed interactive kiosk for self-weighing, self-posting and self-printing of shipping labels, among other applications. The self-shipping kiosk – which combines the self-service experience of NCR with the mailstream expertise of Pitney Bowes – will be marketed globally to postal authorities, retailers, package delivery and express transportation firms and other businesses."
October 11, 2006 -- Noticia.info has noted that "Postal executives attending the international Post Expo exhibition and conference this week are among the first to get a hands-on demonstration of the latest counter automation solution from NCR Corporation.
October 11, 2006 -- According to the Institute for the Research on the Economics of Taxation, "Postal unions were created to represent their members, which is their right and obligation. Their positions, however, are not necessarily in the best interest of mail users, taxpayers, and the general economy."
October 11, 2006 -- BÖWE BELL + HOWELL has announced the achievement of ISO 9001:2000 certification status for its BBH Bethlehem Services facilities. The certification status was awarded following the development of a business management system through the use of process-mapping techniques. The system enabled establishment of the disciplines to follow and improve a process, focus on customer satisfaction, measure performance, and continuously imbed operational improvements.
October 11, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "Asterion, a Belgium Post subsidiary and European leader in the processing and handling of enterprise documents, has chosen to integrate FlyDoc technology offered by Esker, the world leader in document automation solutions, to develop its on demand mail service called Clic’doc. The strategic partnership with Esker, based on Software as a Service (SaaS), allows Asterion to develop a niche in the mail on demand/hybrid mail market; a market estimated to be over 800 million letters per year in France alone."
October 11, 2006 -- As to the chances of passing postal reform in the lameduck session.... As Mike Causey has noted in this Federal Report, "When the lame-duck Congress returns to Washington in mid-November it is almost certain to include a number of politically dead ducks who will not be happy campers. Maybe lots of them. If the Democrats win one or both houses of Congress, Republicans will be spitting mad and could get up to all sort of mischief while they still control the House and Senate. If Republicans hold on to one or both houses of Congress, Democrats will be spitting mad and could get up to all sort of mischief in preparation for another 2 years of being in the minority."
October 11, 2006 -- A quote from a postal wag...without comment...."Bill Young's claim that he is 'sorry' for killing postal reform is the biggest canard passed in Washington since Dick Cheney assured Tim Russert that Americans 'would be welcomed in Iraq as liberators.' After all, Young was being advised by George Gould, one of the best lobbyists in town. Young knew full well what he was doing and did so willingly and, I think, eagerly."
October 11, 2006 -- Computerworld has reported that "Six years after the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act took effect, many U.S. companies have come to rely on online services working with desktops and handheld computers to process legal authorizations. Today, EchoSign Inc. launched a new electronic signature service that brings e-signatures to BlackBerry devices, according to EchoSign CEO Jason Lemkin. To use it, a BlackBerry user receiving an e-mail or other document requiring a signature types in his name and his initials, then sends it to an EchoSign server from the BlackBerry. The EchoSign server then forwards signed PDFs to all the affected parties, based on a previously determined list of names and e-mail addresses."
October 11, 2006 -- Die Welt has reported that "German postal services group Deutsche Post is planning to sell waste disposal subsidiary VfW. The group acquired Cologne-based VfW as part of its acquisition of UK logistics group Exel. VfW is currently setting up an alternative to the 'green dot' recycling scheme in Germany."
October 11, 2006 -- According to the Oxford Mail, "Royal Mail received 14,257 complaints from fed-up Oxfordshire customers last year - and paid out an average of £339 every day in compensation. But the figures represent an improvement on 2004."
October 11, 2006 -- As Steve Barr at the Washington Post has noted, "It's no fun being on the hot seat. "I feel badly," William H. Young , president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said yesterday about blocking legislation to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service. But he emphasized that his union members were his highest priority, making it impossible for him to accept a provision that would single out injured postal employees for different worker compensation rules than other federal employees. Young said that he was trying to contact Sen. Susan Collins (R), the chief sponsor of a compromise bill, who is traveling in her home state of Maine, "to determine where our communications failed. He also denied allegations by critics that he was fronting for postal executives who are uneasy about more rigorous oversight proposed in the bill or that he wanted to see if Democrats could regain power in the November elections and perhaps offer the union a better deal. Young said he had repeatedly directed union lobbyists to inform members of Congress, including Collins, about NALC's concerns with the legislation. He hopes to figure out how communications broke down when he speaks with Collins, Young said." [One might say that Bill Young is "desparately seeking Susan." But who would say that?]
October 11, 2006 -- According to the Register-Herald, "Many believe the future of the United States Postal Service is in jeopardy."
October 11, 2006 -- NewIndPress has reported that "In a novel initiative, the Vijayawada postal region has now made the labyrinthine procedures of rural postal insurance look a child’s play. The postal insurance policy documents, which usually take no less than a fortnight to get processed, would now be available in 48 hours. As per this scheme, introduced in Eluru of West Godavari a fortnight ago, the postal personnel are carrying palmtops armed with special quickly quick Q2 software to the remote villages, where the relevant data pertaining to the prospective customer of rural postal insurance scheme is fed. The data would then be transmitted online to the head post office, which will immediately issue the insurance policy document. Postal officials also are holding talks with the Indian Oil Corporation to set up automobile lubricant outlets in rural and interior post offices."
October 11, 2006 -- China Tech News has noted that "The National High-Tech Research and Development Plan, also known as the 863 Plan recently released by China's Ministry of Science and Technology, has detailed 20 major RFID programs that the national government will allocate RMB128 million to support. In addition, the 863 Plan emphasizes five key areas for RFID applications, including RFID applications for the postal service.
October 10, 2006 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "Postal Corporation of Kenya wants a suit filed by a US-based Internet and satellite technology company blocking it from inviting fresh tenders struck out."
October 10, 2006 -- Naples News has reported that "Local Postal Service officials learned today that officials in Washington approved construction of a new, larger building in Estero, after formally hearing concerns that the existing main office was too small for the growing area."
October 10, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling that UPS Inc. violated anti-discrimination laws by automatically barring the deaf and hearing-impaired from driving parcel delivery trucks."
October 10, 2006 -- This is to remind you that you can register for the new “PCC Insider” electronic newsletter in line with Postmaster General, Chief Executive Officer Jack Potter’s announcement on National PCC Day that this new communication tool will be rich in content and should enable us to better communicate important information to our valued customers at the “grass roots” level. Simply visit the national PCC web site at www.usps.com/pcc. Just click on “PCC Insider Registration”, complete the information requested, and you should receive the first issue electronically on October 20th.
October 10, 2006 -- According to Union Network International, "The postal operators of Belgium, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, and Spain, which together serve more than 50% of the population of the European Union, have expressed their concern about the absence of concrete answers of the European Commission regarding the future financing of the universal postal service. The European Commission will examine a draft directive on 18 October that will have a decisive impact on the European postal industry."
October 10, 2006 -- PostCom's witnesses will be appearing before the Postal Rate Commission for cross-examination by the Postal Service and other parties on October 25 (Clifton Knight, BMG Direct/Columbia House) and October 30 (Aaron Horowitz, Cosmetique; Robert Posch, Bookspan, and Anita Pursley, Quebecor World). The PRC usually webcasts the audio record of its hearings in real-time. You can listen to any PRC webcast on the day any hearing is held by following the appropriate link placed on the PRC home page.
October 10, 2006 -- In a letter to UPS CEO Michael Eskew, PostCom Board Chairman James O'Brien wrote:
On behalf of the Association For Postal Commerce (PostCom), I want to express my personal thanks for your leadership during last week's postal reform legislation negotiations. As you may know, PostCom represents a broad range of mailers and mailing industry service providers including LL Bean, Lands End, Williams Sonoma, Time Incorporated, and United Parcel Service. Our members fully recognize the symbiotic relationship between the use of direct mail to market products and UPS to ship them. A healthy Postal Service helps to keep our products flowing through UPS.
Postal reform may have another opportunity to be passed in the upcoming lame duck session of Congress. Without your concession last week, we would not have made it to this point. I'm assuming that UPS' position on single piece parcels, an issue of importance to our membership, will not change during the lame duck session. Hopefully, we will have reform soon and be able to turn our attention back to generating mail and parcel volume.
October 10, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
France's La Poste ended the first half with a 3.3% increase in turnover to 10.118bn euros. The net profit went up by 3% to 567m euros, according to Monday's company announcement.
Poste Italiane continues to enjoy an upward trend. Last week, the post announced a 72% increase in net profit to 379m euros during the first half. The operating profit went up by 43.6% to 811m euros, while the overall turnover increased to 8.8bn euros. Postal services saw a 2.4% growth, while financial services went up by 7.3%.
Belgium's La Poste opened two of its four new sorting centres in Gand and Charleroi this week. Over the next months, two further hubs will be opened in Antwerp (November) and Liege (January). The Brussels headquarters will undergo complete modernisation (next spring).
In a recent decision, the Court of Appeal in Ontario, Canada, has confirmed the validity of the letter monopoly for outgoing international consignments. Thus, Key Mail Canada Inc. and Key Mail International Inc. are barred from offering international mail services in future.
Postal agencies in Switzerland fear for their future. Compensatory payments by the post are not high enough, claims the Federation of Swiss Postal Agencies (VPS), which represents 36 of the country's 141 postal agencies.
Post Danmark is increasing its postage rates by 3.8% on average from January 2007. Parcel prices will go up by 7% on average at the same time. The post says higher fuel costs make the increases inevitable. Exemptions from higher tariffs include standard and business letters under 50 grams.
In order to calm the heated debate over employees' shares, Royal Mail has told the government and political groups that company shares are worth "Nil". The post is using the argument publicised last week to convince the British government that the shares programme is not giving anything away for free. Royal Mail has calculated that the shares would not be worth anything on an imaginary issuing day.
Last week, TNT Express and the French GeoPost entered into a co-operation agreement. Market observers stress that the agreement has led to renewed speculations of even closer future links between the post companies.
UPS is courting the Hong Kong market with a new clever PR and advertising gag. The integrator presented Disneyland in Hong Kong with a Ford-T delivery vehicle to be used at the theme park. The motor is an exact replica of a 1913 UPS vehicle.
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.
October 10, 2006 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "Liberia's Post Master General and Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Jackson E. Doe, is seeking the involvement of county superintendents of the 15 sub-political divisions in a bid to stretch out postal activities throughout the country."
October 10, 2006 -- CapitalFM.co.ke has reported that "The Postal Corporation of Kenya has been urged to enter into partnership with local courier operators to remain competitive."
October 10, 2006 -- PennySaverUSA.com, the Web site of the shopper publications of Harte-Hanks, Inc., has entered into online classified ad aggregation relationships with Community Papers of Michigan (CPM), the Minnesota Free Paper Association (MFPA), and Wisconsin Community Papers (WCP) – each delivering local advertising content from each group's participating members to the PennySaverUSA.com Web site.
October 10, 2006 -- Postmaster General John E. Potter told a conference of Hispanic postal employees over the weekend that there has never been a better time to prepare for future career opportunities at the Postal Service. The Postal Service will soon experience more turnover than ever before due to the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age. Potter said attracting qualified people from diverse populations – including Hispanics – and promoting them based on performance is important because “it’s our goal to continue to look like America, even as the face of America continues to change.”
October 10, 2006 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, has revealed that it will sell VfW, the German waste collection and recycling specialist. Deutsche Post bought VfW when it acquired UK-based logistics group Exel last year. The postal service group, which has commissioned German investment bank Metzler for the sale, argues that VfW is not part of its core operations in Germany."
October 10, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "Internet Initiative Japan Inc., one of Japan's leading Internet-access and comprehensive network solutions providers, today announced that IIJ Technology Inc. ("IIJ-Tech"), IIJ's 72.1% owned subsidiary, has launched iiMail (pronounced "e-mail"), an open-source email system for medium and large corporate customers. The iiMail system is an inexpensive email solution that has minimal maintenance overhead and can be implemented quickly."
October 10, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Royal Mail customers have been asked whether they would be prepared to pay more for a first-class stamp to guarantee earlier delivery or later collection. The proposal is part of a consultation on collection and delivery times by Postcomm, the postal regulator, which wants to find out whether customers are happy with the service, and whether they are prepared to pay more to improve it."
October 10, 2006 -- The Rising Nepal has reported that "Enumerating problems faced while extending postal service in rural areas with the cause of geographic make-up and inability to provide services meeting international postal standards Minister of State Badu stressed on need to develop Postal Service Department as an autonomous entity. He said the ministry had become alert to problem faced by the department after transfer of civil servants form Postal Service to other Services."
October 10, 2006 -- Express Outlook has reported that "Your Xmas and New Year mail is bound to cost you a lot more this year especially if you are not an e-mail and e-card fan. The most common letter sent locally – 50g – will increase from Rs 2 to Rs 5. International mail is also expected to rise considerably though the Postal Authority have not given any figures yet. The Mauritius Post Ltd (MPL) had actually been requesting the authorities for an increase for more than a year. MPL wanted it to start at Rs 7 to reflect the real value of the service as their operation costs have kept increasing since the latest rise in November 2003. “We have more than Rs 100 million additional expenses,” revealed a representative of MPL."
October 10, 2006 -- DM News has reported that "A significant increase in the number of ordinary parcels sent in 2005 contrasts with a leveling-off of domestic letter-post volumes, according to the international postal union UPU."
October 10, 2006 -- Forbes has reported that "TNT NV announced a further expansion of its postal activities in Germany and said it aims to cover all German households in the course of next year, as TNT Post sales for the full year are seen rising to 200 mln eur. TNT Post said it will acquire Germany's Postcon Deutschland AG, the country's market leader in mail sorting. The acquisition has been approved by German cartel authorities. TNT Post also bought majority stakes in two regional postal services providers in the German federal states of Berlin-Brandenburg and Lower Saxony, and acquired Rheinland Brief in North Rhine-Westphalia."
October 10, 2006 -- The Mohave Daily News has reported that "Postal inspectors said more mail thieves are being thwarted in Tucson. A theft-conscious public, thousands of new mailbox locks, aggressive investigations and a federal prosecutor's willingness to take on more cases have pushed down the number of mail thefts in Tucson more than 70 percent since 2002, said Jim Harper, lead postal inspector in the city."
October 10, 2006 -- According to the DM Bulletin, "The overall volume of direct mail sent during the second quarter of 2006 was 1.31bn units, down 1.6% on the same period in 2005, according to Royal Mail figures. While this is in line with other recent surveys showing direct mail volumes are waning, Royal Mail's figures contradict indications that financial clients have been cutting down on direct mail."
October 10, 2006 -- From PR Newswire: "Elsag, a Finmeccanica company and leading Automation, Logistics and Security provider in Italy, today announced a business agreement with U.S. based OCR technology provider Parascript, LLC to supply a mail automation solution for the Moscow Automated Postal Center."
October 10, 2006 -- The Business Standard has reported that "The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has entered into a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the department of posts, Tamil Nadu circle, for implementing a pilot project under which self-help groups (SHGs) would deploy their savings in the post offices and can get loans from there." See also The Hindu.
October 10, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that:
TNT N.V. has announced that agreement has been reached to sell the business line Document Management (part of Cendris) in the Netherlands, to Spanish-based Service Point Solutions, S.A. (SPS) for an amount of € 27 million. SPS is a listed company specialising in reprographic solutions, document management and facility management. The company is headquartered in Barcelona.
Business Post Group plc, the UK parcel and mail delivery group, has provided a pre-close update for the six months to 30 September 2006. According to management, trading in the first half of the current financial year has been satisfactory with group revenue up 15% to £153m. Progress continues to be made with the performance improvement initiatives previously announced.
October 10, 2006 -- According to the Daily Mail, "Royal Mail was accused of scrapping by stealth the commitment to deliver all first class letters and parcels the next day."
October 10, 2006 -- Dow Jones has reported that "German Economics Minister Michael Glos Monday pushed for the liberalization of the European Union's postal market, saying Germany wants to help implement an E.U.directive by July next year. Glos said that he and European Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy agreed in a meeting Monday they both want to push for a liberalization of the European postal market by 2009." See also Forbes.
October 10, 2006 -- According to the Associated Press, "After years of handing over money for candy bars and wrapping paper, parents might see a new school fundraiser this year: their child's art on a postage stamp. ArtStamps, a Connecticut company, has begun converting student art into U.S. postage _ marking the first time that children's color drawings will appear on real 39-cent stamps."
October 10, 2006 -- Newstarget.com has reported that "In an effort to establish whether naturopathic medical treatment might be of benefit to postal workers with low back pain, Canada Post and the 55,000-member Canadian Union of Postal Workers funded a joint study to be conducted by the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). The purpose of the study was to establish what, if any, effect existed between naturopathic medical treatment (using a combination of acupuncture, mind-body therapy, lifestyle and dietary counseling) and pain management and quality of life for employees with lower back pain."
October 9, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that "A postman has been sacked after nearly 5,000 undelivered items of mail were found at an address in Dorset. Royal Mail officials went to the postal worker's home after a member of the public tipped them off to mail found dumped in Bournemouth. They found nearly 5,000 items of post and the worker, who handled mail at the Winton delivery office, was dismissed. The Royal Mail said it had apologised to customers and is preparing a prosecution case against the employee."
October 9, 2006 -- According to Bendigo News, "A media statement has been released today by Australia Post in response to a protest staged by country postal workers and supporters outside their headquarters last week."
October 9, 2006 -- The Slovene Press Agency has reported that "The national postal company Posta Slovenije is preparing for the full opening of the EU postal services market, which the European Commission is expected to set for 2009. This year's priorities include strengthening cooperation with the postal companies from certain foreign markets, and the selection of a strategic partner, the company's press release reads on Wednesday, 4 October. The preparations also include a tie-up with one or more strategic partners in the international delivery of packages and some organisational changes in the company. Posta Slovenije said it was also planning a diversification of the existing services and development of new services in the fields of logistics, finance and retail. It is also expanding its services to the markets of the former Yugoslavia."
October 9, 2006 -- International Freight Weekly has reported that "FedEx Express is trialling a hybrid delivery vehicle that uses both electric and diesel power. Over three months, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, running the 7km between Aubervilliers station and central Paris, will be tested on its eco-friendliness as well as its ability to handle the demands of commercial and industrial use."
October 9, 2006 -- Le Monde has reported that "Chronopost has launched construction of a logistics hub."
October 9, 2006 -- As The Independent has noted, "Worldport is not a destination most people flying to the US will have heard of. But it's the centre of the universe for Mike Eskew, the head of United Parcel Service (UPS), the biggest delivery company on the planet. Worldport is the name UPS workers give to Louisville airport in Kentucky. By day it's an unremarkable sight. By night it's a frenzy of activity as it becomes the main transport hub for the company, with a large chunk of the 3.5 million packages handled by UPS every day passing through Worldport."
October 9, 2006 -- According to Morningstar, "Belgian-Dutch Fortis NV will pay EUR56 million in cash for its 50% stake in the joint venture with Ireland's An Post and said that amount will likely be booked in the first quarter of 2007."
October 9, 2006 -- Logistics Management has reported that "The global express and logistics company DHL is expected to start negotiations to acquire Colombian package delivery company Servientrega. Representatives of DHL have already arrived in the Latin American country in order to start the talks."
October 9, 2006 -- From PR Newswire:
October 9, 2006 -- Today is World Post Day.
October 9, 2006 -- Andhra Cafe has reported that "The postal department will franchise post office services in the state beginning with Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Guntur. According to Chief Postmaster General Yasodhara Menon these post offices would do all the functions of a post office. But the personnel manning them would be from outside. They would be like the extension counters."
October 9, 2006 -- Czech Business Weekly has reported that "The Czech postal market, dominated by state-owned post office Ceská pošta, has become more competitive. Netherlands-based TNT Post, a distributor of unaddressed printed advertising materials, has launched the delivery of addressed business mail, becoming the second private company to challenge Ceská pošta in this segment; German-owned Mediaservis has been offering these services here since 2003."
October 9, 2006 -- DM News has reported that "The automotive industry in Britain has experienced a 12.3 percent increase in direct mail volumes in the second quarter of this year, according to figures released on Oct. 6 by Royal Mail."
October 9, 2006 -- VietnamNet Bridge has reported that "The UPU Letter Writing Contest - Vietnam 2007 was launched at the Giang Vo Primary School, Hanoi, on Oct. 9. The contest will present one first, two second, five third and 30 consolation prizes to individuals, as well as prizes for schools whose pupils win high prizes. The first-prize letter will be sent to the UPU International Letter Writing Contest, an annual event held by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to help children develop their writing abilities and cognitive skills, as well as help strengthen the friendship among nations."
October 9, 2006 -- According to EarthTimes.org, "Royal Mail, the United Kingdom's mail service, one of the most trusted postal services company in the world has found itself in the middle of a junk mail row. Plans are underway to abolish the limit on the amount of junk mail that can be delivered to peoples homes, a move that could cause a deluge of unwanted mail. The Local Government Association (LGA) has issued a warning to the Royal Mail about its plans to remove the present strict limit of three mails per house per week. This step is bound to cause damage to the environment , cost council tax payers more and enrage private house owners, Lord Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, Chairman of the LGA reasoned." See also Inthenews.co.uk, The Independent and The Guardian. [Please....gimme a break. If we're going to worry about this, then let's worry about ads in newspapers or on television and radio.]
October 9, 2006 -- From PR Newswire: "Verizon Business, a leading communications provider to the federal government, announced today that it has been awarded a two-year extension of its existing Managed Network Services contract with the United States Postal Service. The agreement extends the current contract -- which was due to expire on March 23, 2008 -- through March 23, 2010. The agreement also includes two one- year extension options, through 2012."
October 9, 2006 -- ThisIsMoney has reported that "The postal regulator today launched an inquiry into complaints that once-a-day collections from post boxes can be as early as 9am. Postcomm announced a three-month consultation to check details of when post was being collected and delivered before deciding whether to order any changes." See also The Telegraph and Reuters.
October 9, 2006 -- The Tanzania Standard News has noted that "Only few Tanzanians access and use a postal service outlet and the government is working hard to change the situation, the Minister for Infrastructure Development, Mr Basil Mramba, has said. In a message to mark the World Postal Day today, Mr Mramba said more than 80,000 Tanzanians share a postal service outlet at the moment. The figure serves to show that level of postal services in Tanzania is still very low, minister said. “This is far below the achievements made by other African countries like Kenya, and Zibwabwe,” Mr Mramba said, but gave no comparative figures. Tanzania has an estimated population of 35 million people."
October 9, 2006 -- Direct magazine has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is already drawing criticism on its proposed new mailing standards from mailer groups, particularly on the issues of automatable flats."
October 8, 2006 -- According to Easy Bourse, "Some employees at FedEx Corp. (FDX) and United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) are already union members, but the International Brotherhood of Teamsters wants to add more workers to those ranks."
October 8, 2006 -- As the New York Times has noted, "Those who bemoan the disappearing New York mailbox are not imagining things. “Little by little, those boxes have done a disappearing act,” said John Springman, first vice president of Branch 36 of the National Association of Letter Carriers, one of three unions that represent postal workers. The declining volume of first-class mail had made some reductions in service inevitable, he said, noting that generally only the least-used boxes were removed. Even the Postal Service cannot say how many boxes have been removed over the last few years, because its computers do not record permanent removals."
October 8, 2006 -- The Green Left Weekly has reported that "Fed up with Australia Post’s cuts to country jobs and services, country postal workers and supporters protested outside its Melbourne headquarters on October 6."
October 8, 2006 -- According to the Indianapolis Star, "Five years after envelopes filled with deadly anthrax began arriving in the mail, the U.S. Postal Service is still working to protect its workers and customers from biological attacks."
October 8, 2006 -- According to the Chicago Daily Southtown, "Alsip Mayor Pat Kitching hopes a town hall meeting will bring the village its own post office. The issue of a post office in Alsip goes back nearly 30 years. "We have more than 20,000 citizens and more than 900 businesses. Yet, I go to these small towns when I am on vacation with population 850 people that have fabulous post offices," Kitching said. U.S. Postal Service Chicago district spokesman Mark Reynolds said there are no plans for Alsip to have its own post office."
October 7, 2006 -- According to The Liberal, "Responding to mail carriers' complaints about unsafe conditions, Canada Post has withdrawn its house-to-house rural mail delivery and is replacing it with community mailboxes scattered throughout the Gormley delivery area."
October 7, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "A newly formed identity task force is trying to find a group of postal workers at the Industry post office involved in a scam that caused the loss of $1 million."
October 7, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
October 7, 2006 -- The agenda for the November meeting to the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee has been posted on this site.
October 6, 2006 -- The Postal Rate Commission has posted on its web site the schedule of R2006 intervenor witnesses that will be subject to oral cross-examination.
October 6, 2006 -- The New Nation has noted that "It is presumed that the modern technological change may dim the importance of the post as it is suspected whether it can run in harmony with that tremendous change. Especially in the area of personal communication, information technology has dragged an epochal change that has brought the world into human first but it cannot reduce the importance of the post. It has a glorious retrospect and a glorious prospect as well. The post all over the world is almost government department and everywhere it is a losing concern and is run with subsidy. Now the government is fatigued to foster it bearing the burden of a big amount of subsidy."
October 6, 2006 -- The Harrogate News has reported that "Harrogate Chamber of Trade is so frustrated with the multi-million pound firm which slashed parcel collection point times earlier this year, it is investigating alternative companies that it may recommend to its members. Chief Executive of the chamber Brian Dunsby says it seems the only way they can get their message across."
October 6, 2006 -- As the Irish Times put it: "The problem with wireless communication, of course, is that it doesn't entirely eliminate snail mail either. There are times when only hard copy in the post will do, and so although I don't have to do this half as much as I used to, I do occasionally hoof it to a post office to avail of its services."
October 6, 2006 -- Les Echos has reported that "La Poste, the French post office, has forecast a fall in its operating margin for 2006. It is now predicting a margin of 3.5 per cent, after seeing the figure rise from 1.7 to 3.9 per cent over the previous three years. The company yesterday announced its interim results, and they showed that mail volumes fell 1.7 per cent, causing an 0.8 per cent drop in mail revenue as increased postal charges failed, for the first time, to offset a fall in business."
October 6, 2006 -- According to the Tewksbury Advocate, "In a little more than two weeks, Wilmington will be at the epicenter of a fight to unionize a large chunk of one of the nation's best-known company On Oct. 20, approximately 55 Federal Express drivers at the company's Jewel Drive distribution center and Ballardvale Street facility will vote to authorize the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to represent them in future negotiations with the company. And with nearly three-quarter of drivers requesting an election, according the Teamster spokesman, there is a good chance that Wilmington drivers will be the first of the Memphis-based company's 15,000 drivers nationwide to belong to a labor union."
October 6, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "UPS Inc., the world's largest shipping carrier, has begun a reorganization of its logistics and freight forwarding unit that will result in unspecified job reductions, a spokeswoman said Thursday. "We're making some job reductions," UPS spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg said. "There is no net number. We're also doing position reassignments." The Atlanta-based company declined to say how many employees may be affected. There are roughly 2,000 employees in the unit in and around Atlanta and others spread throughout the company, Rosenberg said."
October 6, 2006 -- Stuff has reported that "Rural postal delivery vehicles could be used to pick up passengers in remote Waikato communities as part of a regional shake-up of public transport."
October 6, 2006 -- According to CFO Magazine, ""Get your business moving," is what the U.S. Postal Service website prods. And that may be one reason the government behemoth tapped industry outsider Harold Glen Walker as its new chief financial officer. With $70 billion in total costs, a workforce of 700,000, and postal service reform topping the agenda, Walker is rolling up his sleeves to work side-by-side with the U.S. Postmaster General Jack Potter."
October 6, 2006 -- ABC Ballarat has reported that "The union and Australia Post workers will rally in Melbourne today, over concerns regional jobs are being lost, as more mail is sent to the Dandenong sorting centre. Ballarat Trades Hall secretary Graeme Shearer says Australia Post is refusing to meet the union to discuss its concerns."
October 6, 2006 -- In a special report prepared for the PostCom Bulletin, former Washington Post and Denver Post correspondent Bill McAllister shares his definitive perspective regarding: A Postmortem On Postal Reform, or "Who Really Shot John?"
October 6, 2006 -- From PR Newswire: "Fairrington Transportation Corp. (Fairrington) today announced a strategic partnership with GrayHair Software, Inc. (GrayHair) to merge data from both entities which will enable their clients to more accurately predict and manage in-home delivery dates. The partnership will create an innovative and holistic reporting solution that will track the progress of all client mailings from start to finish, including the rich logistic data from Fairrington consolidation facilities and enhanced OneCode mail piece tracking data from GrayHair. GrayHair will augment the Confirm program's PLANET code and utilize the USPS's new OneCode Confirm 4CB barcode to track client's mail pinpointing delivery milestones."
October 6, 2006 -- The Milwaukee Business Journal has reported that "Midwest Airlines Inc. has been awarded a five-year contract to transport express, first class and priority mail for the U.S. Postal Service."
October 6, 2006 -- The Missoulian has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is studying whether to move the sorting of Helena's outgoing mail to Great Falls, about 90 miles away, a possibility that disturbs the postal workers union."
October 6, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
France is heading for a showdown with Brussels over plans to open up postal services to competition from 2009, setting the scene for a fresh battle over the completion of the European Union's single market. Paris aims to water down the postal plans by proposing measures to compensate incumbent mail operators, including La Poste, the French state-owned post office, for loss of their monopoly. But Deutsche Post, Germany's privatised post office, is backing the European Commission's plan to sweep away the last remnants of an era in which postal services are still dominated by state-owned monopolies.
The European Commission is relying on the support of the countries of northern Europe for its plan to complete the liberalisation of postal services against opposition from France's La Poste and the national post offices of countries to the south. But while the northern postal operators favour access to the markets of the rest of the European Union, there is less unanimity on the form that such competition should take. There are also several policy issues to be addressed if there is to be a single postal market across the 25 member states of the European Union, they say.
October 6, 2006 -- From MarketWire: "One Billion dollars of postage has been printed through Endicia since the service's debut in 2000. Along the way, users have saved over 65 Million dollars on Delivery and Signature Confirmation alone by using Endicia's discounted electronic service instead of purchasing the retail version at the counter of their local post office."
October 5, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Local and foreign express delivery companies have denounced the latest draft of China's Postal Law, saying it would create unfair competition, violate trade agreements and destroy non-state businesses employing hundreds of thousands of people. A meeting last week between industry representatives and officials from China's State Council, or cabinet, and other departments failed to ease fears over the likely impact of the long-delayed law, express delivery company executives said. They say one clause of the draft would give a unit of state-owned China Post a total monopoly over deliveries of parcels weighing less than 150g, which account for more than 90 per cent of the intra-city business of private delivery companies." See also MSNBC.
October 5, 2006 -- The Washington Post has reported that "More than 4 percent of the city's nearly 3,800 officers are unavailable for full duty because of injury or illness. After a string of homicides this summer, D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey spent $10 million in overtime and resorted to six-day workweeks and vacation restrictions to beef up police presence in neighborhoods. Last week, homicides spiked again. The illness and injury claims have cost the city millions in salaries, medical care, disability payments and lost work hours. And the department's tolerance for long-running absences -- whether illnesses are genuine or exaggerated -- has left residents without the full police protection they were funding." [Gee, sort of sounds like the workers comp abuses the recently killed postal reform bill was trying to address.]
October 5, 2006 -- Well, according to the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the demise of postal reform was a good thing. It told its members that:
On the evening of Sept. 30, 2006, as Congress was poised to adjourn to campaign for the mid-term elections, postal workers avoided a legislative disaster. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Chair of the Senate Government Affairs Committee, finalized a revised version of a Senate postal “reform” bill and initiated parliamentary procedures for a vote. Only through the combined efforts of the postal craft unions (APWU, National Association of Letter Carriers, National Postal Mail Handlers Union, and National Rural Letters Carriers Association) were we able to delay final action on this bill that would have been bad for American citizens and bad for postal workers. We are most appreciative of Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), for their support on issues that were important to us during the tense hours of negotiations. If this legislation had passed, the winners would have been the large mailers, their congressional supporters, and the White House. The losers would have been individual postal customers, small businesses, and postal employees. The bill would have put in motion a legal framework that would have led to the erosion of service and a reduction in wages and benefits. This is a bad bill and it does not deserve to become law.
October 5, 2006 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that "Fortis and An Post announced today that they have signed a final agreement for the creation of a joint venture in the financial services sector. The new retail bank will offer a broad range of financial products and services to the Irish market, including daily banking, savings products, insurance, mortgages, credit cards - in short, everything that can be expected from a first-class retail bank."
October 5, 2006 -- Les Echos has reported that "Yesterday the European Commission recommended to the French government that it put an end to the unlimited guarantee it provides La Poste, the national postal services group, by the end of 2008. According to the European executive body, the guarantee means that La Poste can avoid bankruptcy, because the state is ultimately responsible for its rights and obligations, giving it a definite advantage over its competitors. Paris has a month in which to respond to the recommendation. If it refuses to open negotiations, it is likely that the Commission will launch legal proceedings."
October 5, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Business Post, the postal services group, has reported first-half sales up 15 per cent to £153m, with a fall in revenues from parcel services more than offset by a 156 per cent rise in mail delivery revenues."
October 5, 2006 -- Monday, October 9th is World Postal Day.
October 5, 2006 -- MENA-FN has reported that "Saudi Arabian Airlines has signed an agreement with the Saudi Post to carry regular and express mail inside the Kingdom. The agreement comes after several studies were conducted that showed carrying mail within the Kingdom would be good for both the airline and the post office. Saudi Post now has premium mail tracking services, allowing both citizens and expatriates to track the course of their shipments on the postal service's Web site or by utilising an automated telephone system."
October 5, 2006 -- NBCi5 has reported that "A Dallas mail carrier has been charged with stealing hundreds of credit cards, checks and other items, NBC 5 reported. Investigators said they recovered 1,500 pieces of stolen mail, and now they're trying to track down the victims."
October 5, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "GeoPost has signed an agreement with TNT Express for the provision of international services. GeoPost will now access TNT Express' inter-continental parcel services. The agreement is for five years and will start in January 2007. The deal is not huge, with TNT Express estimating that it will account for €120m worth of business over five years. GeoPost previously had an alliance with FedEx in which the French parcels operator provided local services for FedEx, with FedEx providing inter-continental services for GeoPost."
October 5, 2006 -- GovExec.com has reported that "A compromise proposal to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service written by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, has met enough opposition from various interest groups that final passage in the lame-duck session is now in doubt, according to a handful of insiders tracking the issue. "While I remain committed to the goal of passing the bill in the lame-duck session, I do not know if that will be possible," Collins said in a statement."
October 5, 2006 -- As the Postal Service has noted in its Postal Bulletin, "Oct. 1, 2006, marks the start of a new fiscal year — and the beginning of the submission period for the 2007 Chief Marketing Officer’s (CMO) Growth Award. The CMO Growth Award is the highest honor given for postmasters, managers and supervisors who contribute the most toward growing the business and making sure customers are aware of USPS products and services. Competition for the CMO Growth Award is based on the EAS-level of Post Offices within each area. Participants receive points in three categories — revenue generation, marketing initiatives and marketing outreach."
October 5, 2006 -- The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers has told its members that "The entire mailing community is shaking its heads over an 11th hour objection by the National Association of Letter Carriers that derailed passage of postal reform legislation last week. At face value, the postal union's objection makes no sense. As a result, there is considerable speculation about the motivation to kill legislation that ultimately included every major demand the union had made."
October 4, 2006 -- PostCom Members! The latest PostCom Issues Brief, this one on "Negotiated Service Agreements" has been posted on this site.
October 4, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "Despite concerns, Wall Street is predicting a solid season for both companies, which tend to track faster growth than the overall economy. "We think UPS and FedEx should have a healthy peak season, though not necessarily as robust as last year's," R.W. Baird analyst Jon Langenfeld said. "What we and investors are looking for is a soft landing, a sign that the economy is not going to slow further." If fuel prices remain below summer highs, consumer spending will accelerate, boosting business at UPS and FedEx, analysts said."
October 4, 2006 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "Air cargo operators sought the views of shippers at the industry's largest global event and what they got was an earful. Speaking at last month's bi-annual International Air Cargo Forum in Calgary, shippers called for greater communication between airlines, forwarders and shippers, saying cargo customers are too often left out of critical questions of capacity, security and ongoing market developments."
October 4, 2006 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "TNT Logistics North America, a leading provider of supply chain logistics services, has added two key managers to its business development group."
October 4, 2006 -- The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest members:
, Director of Mailing and Client Services, Barton-Cotton,Inc., 1405 Parker Road, Baltimore, MD 21227-1482
October 4, 2006 -- Eyefortransport.com has reported that "Roger Crook, CEO at DHL Express International Americas, assumed his role as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Caribbean and Latin American Express Delivery Conference."
October 4, 2006 -- NBC4.com has reported that "U.S. Postal Service officials said more than a thousand biological detectors are sniffing mail for contamination at 271 processing locations across the country. A second version for larger pieces of mail will be deployed next year."
October 4, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "The average number of monthly visitors to U.S. newspaper Web sites rose by nearly a third in the first half of 2006, a study released on Wednesday said, though print readership at some larger U.S. newspapers fell. The study, released by the Newspaper Association of America, underscores the Internet's importance to papers beset by falling circulation and advertising revenue in their print editions. U.S. newspaper publishers have been fighting to hold on to advertisers as many of them lose readers to other media, including the Internet."
October 4, 2006 -- As the Wall Street Journal has noted, "Brussels will have a chance this fall to finish the job with the postal sector, an industry that has fought market liberalization all too successfully. The European Commission's soon-to-be-released postal directive will call for ending lingering national monopolies by 2009. On this score, Europe is already far ahead of the U.S., where no one talks seriously about ending the U.S. Postal Service's monopoly. Recent postal reform bills on Capitol Hill didn't demand privatization or competition, and never passed anyway."
October 4, 2006 -- As the Financial Times has noted, "Later this month, the EU internal market commissioner is expected to table a proposal that will introduce full and unlimited competition into the Union’s market for postal services. As the FT reported last week, the proposal will dismantle the last “reserved area” in which the big national postal groups retain a monopoly - the market for delivering mail weighing less than 50 grammes. The good news is that there are at least two reasons to be more optimistic for the Commission’s postal plans. For a start, Brussels is only taking on one group of people rather than the hundreds of different workers and professions it tackled with the services directive. The other factor counting in the Commission’s favour is that it can rely on the support of Germany this time round. While Europe’s largest economy was one of the biggest opponents of the original services directive, Berlin is keen to see a speedy opening of the market for postal services across Europe."
October 4, 2006 -- As WhatTheyThink has noted, "Although conflicting agendas among stakeholders in the mailing community remain, it will be critical that all parties work toward the goal of comprehensive postal reform until Congress adjourns sine die. Lawmakers must remember that postal reform - or the lack of it - will have serious consequences for the nation's economy, as the mailing economy, of which printing is a primary sector, employs nine million American workers and is nine percent of GDP."
October 4, 2006 -- Easy Bourse has reported that "Dutch postal company TNT NV has said its express unit has signed a five-year contract with GeoPost, a holding company of France-based Groupe La Poste. TNT Express will pick up and deliver international express parcels on behalf of GeoPost using its global network."
October 4, 2006 -- Union Network International has reported that "Nowadays Korean postal workers are passing away most busy times to work for delivering tens of thousands of parcel items. Coming on 6th October is the Chusok festive day(Thanksgiving day) in Korea and most of Koreans are celebrate golden holidays from on 30 September to 8 October except on Monday and Wednesday. Because Tuesday is national holiday, Gaecheonjeol(National foundation day) and Chusok holidays are from on Thursday to on Sunday."
October 4, 2006 -- UNI-Japan Post, a coordinating body for international activities of two postal unions in Japan, JPU and Zenyusei, held its annual general meeting on 15 September. Bro. Yamaguchi chaired the meeting. He said, "International activities become more important, because we are experiencing real global competition even in the postal sector. We have to promote exchange of information on regulatory changes for universal services and reserved area."
October 4, 2006 -- From the Canada NewsWire: "MBEC Communications Inc., the master licensor of The UPS Store in Canada, today announced the establishment of The TUPSS Children's Foundation. The mission of the Foundation, a federally-registered, non-profit Canadian charity, is to identify handicapped and disabled children who are in need of special aids to improve the quality of their life, or care, but which lie beyond the financial scope of their families."
October 4, 2006 -- Steve Barr at the Washington Post has noted that "Sometimes it is small provisions that trip up big bills. That was the case last week with compromise legislation that would overhaul the U.S. Postal Service. The bill's collapse also spawned differing opinions on whether it can be salvaged next month in a lame-duck session. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) is optimistic that the House and Senate will approve a postal bill. "We are going to get it done," Davis said yesterday, adding, "We are conceptually 99.9 percent of the way there." But Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-Maine), a chief sponsor who will broker any compromise, is not as confident as Davis. "Unfortunately, at the eleventh hour, various parties raised objections to some of the bill's long-standing provisions, and these objections caused certain members of Congress to block passage of the legislation," Collins said in an e-mail yesterday from her home state. "While I remain committed to the goal of passing the bill in the lame-duck session, I do not know if that will be possible," she wrote."
October 4, 2006 -- ExpressIndia has noted that "WITH hi-tech communication system elbowing out good old postal services, the Department of Post is now planning a revamp by disseminating agriculture and weather-related information to farmers soon. Following a tie-up with Dish TV, the department’s postmen will also collect and deliver monthly bills from this month, like it does with BSNL telephone bills. Interestingly, the Postal department recently started collecting and selling passport forms. In fact, post-police verification, the department is also issuing passports these days."
October 4, 2006 -- DM Bulletin has reported that "Postwatch has appointed Howard Webber as chief executive to replace Gregor McGregor, who retired in May."
October 4, 2006 -- According to the Business Report, "The courier industry had high hopes that a bill, which will begin its passage through parliament next week, would clear up a lot of the ambiguities in the postal legislation, but it seems evident now that this is not going to happen."
October 4, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "The European Commission will on Wednesday call on France to end its unlimited state guarantee for La Poste, the state-controlled postal group. Neelie Kroes, the European Union competition commissioner, will tell Paris that the guarantee is unfair because it allows La Poste to raise money more cheaply than its rivals and so gives the operator an unfair advantage over private sector competitors. Because the guarantee was in place before the EU’s state aid regime was introduced, Ms Kroes for the moment only has the power to issue a recommendation urging France to drop the guarantee. Brussels can only open a formal state aid investigation if France refuses to follow the Commission recommendation."
October 4, 2006 -- From I-Newswire: "ZIPCodeWorld.com is pleased to announce the availability of October 2006 Edition ZIPCodeWorld United States ZIP Codes Database, PostalCodeWorld Canada Postal Code Database and PostalCodeWorld Mexico Postal Code Database subscription service."
October 4, 2006 -- According to The Times, "ROYAL MAIL is worth nothing, the organisation has told the Government and politicians, in an effort to take the political heat out of its push to give employees shares in the business. The state postal service, in arguing that the Government effectively would be giving nothing away if staff were given shares, contends that the shares would also be worthless when they are issued. Royal Mail has calculated that it is worth nothing because its assets, which are thought to be valued at about £5 billion, are cancelled out by its pension deficit, which stands at £5.6 billion."
October 4, 2006 -- GovExec.com has reported that "Legislation reforming the U.S. Postal Service came "within a quarter of an inch" of passing both houses of Congress late Friday night and should be finalized in November, a key House negotiator said Tuesday. House Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., said the House was prepared to vote on a compromise version, and the Senate was ready to approve it by unanimous consent. But some members felt they needed to read the legislation before voting, he said. "It's not the postal bill I would have liked ... but getting your plan and getting it through Congress are two different things," Davis said at a breakfast hosted by The Council for Excellence in Government and The Washington Post. Davis said there were still potential hang-ups over the rules for postal rate increases and workers compensation policies."
October 4, 2006 -- According to Media Daily News, "If the buzz rippling through the ranks of top media agency execs is right, the newspaper industry may be facing another big blow--not against its already battered national and local display ad business--but against another cash cow: freestanding inserts."
October 4, 2006 -- The Great Falls Tribune has reported that "Postal Service workers plan to picket outside the main Helena post office at 11 a.m. Wednesday to draw attention to a potential change they say could delay mail service. The heart of the dispute is a study looking at ending mail-processing operations at 40 smaller processing centers. Helena is the only Montana post office included in the study, which is looking at what it will cost in terms of time and money to process mail from there in Great Falls."
October 4, 2006 -- From the U.S. Postal Service: "USPS revenues for August were $6.3 billion, or $143 million over plan and 6.6% more than August 2005. Expenses for the month were $6.3 billion, or $223 million over plan and 6.9% more than same period last year (SPLY). The net loss was $38 million before the escrow allocation. The net deficiency in August after the escrow allocation was $288 million. Year-to-date (YTD), revenue through August was 0.8%, or $507 million higher than plan and 4.2% above SPLY. Expenses through August were 0.8%, or $535 million higher than plan and $2.9 billion above SPLY. YTD, the net income before the escrow allocation is $1.3 billion. A YTD net deficiency of $1.5 billion exists after the escrow allocation."
October 4, 2006 -- CommunityDispatch.com has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service, the Military Postal Service and more than 15,000 election officials across the country are working together to make sure that absentee ballots reach to military personnel overseas as quickly as possible. Absentee Ballot Express (ABE) is a series of special procedures designed to expedite the delivery of absentee ballots to and from Military Post Offices overseas for the November 7 general election. The program will be in place for 50 days."
October 4, 2006 -- NJBiz has reported that "I.D. Systems, a Hackensack-based provider of wireless solutions for monitoring equipment, received orders from the United States Postal Services to use the company’s Wireless Asset Net vehicle-management system at nine additional facilities."
October 4, 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.
October 3, 2006 -- PostalNews.com has reported that "the USPS will have to reconsider its decision to close the Observatory Station located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, according to a ruling handed down last week by the Postal Rate Commission. The station was closed in June of this year, prompting protests by local residents and Pennsylvania politicians. The USPS had argued that the PRC did not have jurisdiction over the decision to close the unit, because it was not a “post office”, but a “finance station”. The PRC found otherwise, ruling that while the station might not technically be a post office as defined by the USPS, it was clearly the intent of Congress to protect such units from arbitrary closing."
October 3, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
The Chinese post has set up a Postal Service Protection Unit for the "protec- tion and safety of communication, production, capital and property of the post". The new unit replaces the so-called economic police created by the State Council in the early 1980s in order to safeguard security and stability in society and support the regu- lar police force.
Anton Weis, CEO of Austrias Osterreichische Post AG, believes the state should pull out of the part-privatised post to a large extent.
The Spanish post Correos intends to introduce barcodes in order to make mail services faster and more efficient.The new application is currently part of a pilot project underway in Toledo and Madrid.
Irelands An Post has serious problems in some areas when it comes to mee- ting quality performance targets, the regulatory authority claims.
TNT Swiss Post AG has been forced to shorten working hours for drivers.
Russia has cut postal and transport connections with Georgia.
Representatives of 20 private CEP companies have met with an official of Chinas State Council Office to discuss the pending amendment to the Postal Act.
The Japanese market is showing signs of a fierce price war with Yamato announcing the new service at rates up to 60%lower than UPS rates. Delivery times for international parcels should be between three and seven days. Yamato aims to gain a 10% market share for international consignments in the medium term.
Norways Posten Norge has taken over Dutch logistics operator Scanex B.V.
Scandinavian Jetpak Group (2005 turnover: 52m euros) has taken over Fin- nish courier service Laihettipirldca.
The takeover of Chinese Hoau Logistics Group by TNT announced at the end of last year will go ahead as planned
DHL intends to invest 40m Mexican pesos - or 2.86m euros -in the develop- ment of its Mexican infrastructure.
Russia's Armadillo Business Parcel is starting a new international parcel service to Europe.
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.
October 3, 2006 -- MarinIJ.com has noted that "The U.S. Postal Service has expanded operations in Novato. The service has granted "approved-shipper" status to the Postal Annex locations at 530 Alameda del Prado and 926A Diablo Ave. The no-fee licensing contracts allow the Postal Annex sites to offer most official postal services and products."
October 3, 2006 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Once the pride of India's civil service, India Post and its predecessor, the British East India Co., controlled most mail delivery for centuries. But since a reform-minded government started allowing more competition in the 1990s, more-efficient private couriers have eaten deeply into India Post's business. India Post is forced to maintain its 550,000 employees with full benefits and run a vast network of post offices, most of them unprofitable. What's more, politicians keep India Post from raising postal rates, so it loses money on almost every postcard and package it handles. While India Post runs the largest postal network in the world with more than 155,000 branches, it's also one of the most inefficient."
October 3, 2006 -- eTrucker.com has reported that "FedEx Ground Package System has dropped its request that its home-delivery drivers be allowed to operate property-carrying trucks to and from their residences without being considered “on duty” for hours-of-service compliance purposes."
October 3, 2006 -- AFX has reported that "The Italian post office decided to relinquish a commercial agreement with Mediolanum SpA's unit Banca Mediolanum, the daily MF said without giving a source. The deal signed in 2004 enables Banca Mediolanum clients to use most of the post office's more than 14,000 outlets for financial operations, it said."
October 3, 2006 -- According to Forbes, "China has to be a great opportunity for UPS, which now controls all its own operations in China, in what has become a major growth engine."
October 3, 2006 -- From PR Newswire: "QuadData Solutions, a division of Quad/Graphics, the world's largest privately held printer of magazines, catalogs, direct mail and other commercial products, has expanded its data- driven marketing services and is offering them to any business that uses data to build relationships and revenues, including multi-channel marketers and retailers as well as marketers in the automotive, financial services, consumer packaged goods, and travel and leisure industries. In addition, the data solutions group, formerly known as Quad/Data Services, has enhanced its list rental capabilities through relationships with a number of well-known, well- respected data providers like InfoUSA/Donnelley Marketing and Advo, Inc."
October 3, 2006 -- From PR Web: "Like many businesses, publishing is going through some dynamic shifts. Describing the current state of the industry, Tom Faulkner said, “Publishers, large and small, are trying to find the right blend of print and digital. Although increasing postal rates are driving Web delivery, many publishers are experimenting with print and digital. There is an audience for both – and sometimes it’s the same audience. How to provide digital and print options profitably is the challenge.” He continued by saying, “The publishing lobby has battled the USPS for years to no avail so I suspect the proposed postage increases for 2007 will go into effect. Publishers will have to continue to look for print production efficiencies and leverage print and online content. Content will always be king, but how you deliver it will be the difference between profit and loss.”
October 3, 2006 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "The Annual Multi-Channel Report from Abacus in the US highlights the growing importance of online for mail order companies. While the report highlights the shift from traditional mail order, such as telephone, mail and fax, to online continues, the report says that the majority of households continue to order through the traditional channels, with these accounting for 55% of orders, down 4% from 2004. At the same time, 25% of direct sales for multi-channel merchants were made via the web in 2005, compared with 20% in 2004. The proportion of dollars and transactions generated online continue to grow strongly at 19% and 17% respectively year on year. It reveals a 14% increase in the number of transactions and total sales for multi-channel retailers in 2005, up from a 10% increase in 2004, further demonstrating the continued growth of the online channel in mail order."
October 3, 2006 -- FijiVillage has reported that "With the FEA fuel surcharge coming into effect in the next two days, there is confirmation today that the cost of certain Postal Services will also increase later this month. The Commerce Commission has authorized Post Fiji to institute a 12% increase for mailing letters, postcards, printed papers and small packets, parcels and others items. The increase applies to both surface mail and air mail. Chairman Thomas Raju said Post Fiji applied for a 40% increase, however the Commission felt that it was not justified."
October 3, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Hans-Dieter Petram, Deutsche Post World Net's Board Member for Mail, has opened a new mail and document solutions facility for Deutsche Post World Net's UK subsidiary Williams Lea. The approximately 6,500 sqm mail centre is the base for around 400 employees working to provide internal and external communication services for companies such as electronic printing, document and correspondence management for corporate clients."
October 3, 2006 -- WBOY12 has reported that "Postal workers are fighting what they're calling a proposal to close many local post offices. They're also calling for improvements in customer service. Members of the local American Postal Workers Union staged this informational picket outside the main post office in Beckley."
October 3, 2006 -- Computer Weekly has reported that "The Royal Mail has implemented an online pricing application to handle the changes it made to its letter and package pricing last month."
October 3, 2006 -- According to Multichannel Merchant, "though legislators and mailers worked past midnight on Saturday night--the session adjourned at 12:25 a.m.-- an agreement was not reached on a conference bill that resolved the differences between the Senate (S. 662) and House (H.R. 22) postal reform bills. The news doesn't mean postal reform is necessarily dead--just on life support." The mailing community likes to say that "It ain't over 'til the Fat Lady sings." But it's beginning to look as if the Fat Lady might have gotten mugged on the way to the opera....♫ Oo-blah-de oo-blah-dah....life goes on....♫
October 2, 2006 -- From the U.S. Postal Service: "Sharon Daniel has been named Manager of Mailing Standards. She was the Finance Manager for the Expedited Package Services Strategic Business Unit, and she has testified numerous times before the Postal Rate Commission on issues ranging from letter and parcel processing costs to the impact of shape and density on delivery costs. Sharon earned a BS in mathematics and an MS in Operations Research, both from the College of William and Mary. She began her career as a management consultant for Price Waterhouse LLP."
October 2, 2006 -- The Olympian has reported that "Olympia has officially lost its own postmark. Letters and postcards from South Sound are no longer processed locally, but instead travel 30 miles to the north for a "Tacoma-Olympia" postmark. The battle to retain the local postmark has been waged - and lost. It's time for South Sound residents to live with the results and make the best of an unfortunate situation. And it's time for the U.S. Postal Service to monitor the flow of mail and provide an honest assessment on whether promises of on-time delivery and cost savings are being met."
October 2, 2006 -- According to the Washington Post, "When citizens send e-mails to their congressmen through the Web sites of lobby groups, they expect those messages to zip electronically to the place they intended. It turns out that isn't always the case. A new study by a company that routes thousands of these e-mails to Congress shows that plenty of constituent e-mails never reach lawmakers' offices. According to the Capitol Advantage study, six of the 10 leading companies that run Web sites that send e-mails for interest groups failed to deliver even half of those e-mails through their systems. To get around the hurdles, Web site operators have taken to faxing the e-mails to legislators. Faxes have low credibility with lawmakers."
October 2, 2006 -- Gulf Times has reported that "Q-POST yesterday announced the formal launch of its new fast delivery service, GulfEx. The new facility would ensure mails and parcels dispatched to the five GCC states are delivered the very next day."
October 2, 2006 -- IrishDev has reported that "Irish Law requires ComReg to lay down directions setting out how An Post, the Universal Service Provider (USP), should maintain cost accounts so as to achieve transparency of accounting in respect of the costs it incurs in providing the various postal services within the scope of universal service."
October 2, 2006 -- National Association of Letter Carriers William Young told his members that "Last night, and in the early morning hours of today, we came within an eyelash of accomplishing our goal of enacting meaningful postal reform, at least in the Senate. In the final analysis, letter carriers could not support the bill that Senator Susan Collins was pursuing because it would have established a three-day waiting period for injured letter carriers before they could go on continuation of pay. We worked with allies in the Senate to block its consideration."
October 2, 2006 -- As DM News has noted, "A UPS spokesman said Friday that UPS and the U.S. Postal Service had reached a compromise on the single-piece parcel post issue that is holding up passage of postal reform legislation, but claimed that the office of the key senator who is a champion of the cause rejected it. And late Friday, the spokesman said that UPS would not oppose the postal reform bill as it stood.
October 1, 2006 -- The Direct Marketing Association has told its members that "While Congressional leaders did not, as had been hoped, take action on postal reform legislation on Friday, DMA remains optimistic that Congress will take up this pressing matter on their return following the November 7 elections."
October 1, 2006 -- According to the Aberdeen Group, "Reverse logistics – defined as the return, exchange, repair/refurbishment, remarketing, and disposition of products – is rapidly emerging as a core driver of competitive advantage and financial performance among leading manufacturers. Conservative estimates put overall reverse logistics costs at $100 billion annually in the U.S. alone."
October 1, 2006 -- According to Air Cargo World, "an air cargo industry pressed to meet the contradictory demands of service and efficiency increasingly is finding the answer in the basic building blocks of shipping. Industry experts say more forwarders are enhancing services by building up completed containers and pallets." Think of it as worksharing to reduce overall costs.
October 1, 2006 -- From PR Leap: "NAC Geographic Products Inc. (http://www.nacgeo.com) announced the release of the NAC Enhanced Google Local Search (http://www.travelgis.com/local/) – an integration of the Natural Area Coding System with Google Local Search through the Google AJAX Search API. Universal Addresses can be used as universal identifiers for bus stops, gates, parking meters, street lights, trees, sewage exits, fire hydrants and any other fixed objects. Using Universal Addresses as global postal codes can make all sorting machines able to sort mail from world level to final mail boxes automatically. The wide use of Universal Address enhanced GPS watches or cellphones can greatly accelerate the globalization and make accurate locations as useful as accurate time for all human activities and events."
October 1, 2006 -- According to the National Association of Postal Supervisors, "Senate and House lawmakers recessed early Saturday morning and departed the nation's capital for the upcoming mid-term Congressional elections, as a bipartisan eleventh-hour Senate push to reach a compromise postal reform bill fell short in the closing hours. The exhaustive last-ditch effort by Collins and Carper, two of the leading Congressional champions of postal reform, to achieve a compromise measure began last Wednesday when the Bush Administration proposed for the first time to transfer the entirety of the CSRS escrow account to a postal retiree health benefits lock box and to eliminate any USPS financial obligation for past or future military retirement benefits of postal employees. However, efforts stalled late Friday night when the National Association of Letter Carriers refused to endorse any bill that included a workers compensation provision, previously passed by the Senate, that required a three-day waiting period before FECA benefits began. Most postal observers considered the disputed change to be relatively minor, especially in light of other workers compensation concessions already reached and, most important, its ramifications upon final passage of postal reform after 13 years of effort in the Congress."
October 1, 2006 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "The race for the position of Kenya's fourth post-master-general is gathering momentum. Information and Communications minister Mutahi Kagwe was presented with four names by Postal Corporation of Kenya board of directors to pick one of them for the position, more than a month ago. Mr Kagwe has confirmed receiving the names but said he was still consulting before he finally names the post master."