Postal News from November 2006:
Postal News for November 30, 2006
The National Association of Major Mail Users has told its members that "As of August 1, 2007, the USPS (United States Postal Service) intends to enforce a new regulation that requires all commercial incentive mail destined for the United States to be run through CASS certified software, that validates against two additional databases: Delivery Point Validation (DPV), and new proprietary Locatable Address Conversion System (LACS) for address correction. Both the DPV and LACS are encrypted, and the USPS is restricting their use to the boundaries of the United States and its territories. All the software vendors are restricted from sending the address data updates to off-shore mailers, including Canadian mailers and service providers. This is a USPS business decision taken for control purposes over the data and any use thereof. It is not for privacy or homeland security reasons, as originally thought. The decision impacts mailers, International software vendors, VAM (Value Add Mailers), global organizations sharing workload, Call Centres - any business operation that needs to validate and update addresses in the United States. "
Mr. Murray Buchanan, Head of International Policy at Royal Mail, will give an informal presentation and briefing on the recently issued European Union Postal Directive which, among other things, calls for the elimination of national postal monopolies throughout the European Union by 2009. The briefing will be held at the offices of the Postal Rate Commission at 901 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C., at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 13. This event has been jointly arranged by Royal Mail, the Postal Rate Commission and the Department of State. All are invited. Please inform Steve Sharfman, General Counsel of the Postal Rate Commission, if you plan to attend this briefing, at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wilmington News Journal has reported that "A union election set for today for nearly 470 DHL employees in Wilmington was postponed Wednesday by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The election was postponed pending an NLRB investigation of an unfair labor practice complaint filed last Friday by the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) against DHL Express."
American Postal Workers Union President William Burrus has instructed the unions attorneys to make initial preparations for arbitration. [I'm SHOCKED!! Shocked, I tell you!]
Postalnews.com has posted an item noting that "Bill Lewis and NBA Jeff Kehlert have signed an agreement with the USPS to compensate the APWU members of the Trenton P&DC - 5.3 million dollars for time spent traveling to Kilmer P&DC, South River, Monmouth P&DC, New Brunswick CFS, Tom's River and the Lakewood VMF."
According to DM News postal commentator Cary Baer, "Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA is expected to chair the House committee that has U.S. Postal Service oversight. The betting is that he will spend the bulk of the Government Reform Committees time investigating the Bush administration rather than pursuing postal reform. Changes in the Senate also dont bode well for the USPS."
The Toronto Sun has reported that "A Canada Post tractor-trailer loaded with thousands of pieces of mail was refused entry into the U.S. after radioactive goods were detected."
WTVM has reported that a "mailbox red flag invites thieves, not the postman."
The Voice of America has reported that "A prominent research center has published a survey showing the threat of bioweapons is serious and growing. The study comes five years after the discovery of deadly anthrax in envelopes and other containers sent through the U.S. postal system. The spores killed five people and sickened 22 others."
As DM News has noted, "When Postmaster General John E. Potter was looking for a new chief financial officer, he wanted an outsider with a fresh perspective. H. Glen Walker, the new USPS executive vice president and CFO, discussed this issue recently with trade reporters at the agency's headquarters here. Mr. Walker, a certified public accountant with 30 years of domestic and international financial experience, was named to his position in August after CFO Richard Strasser retired April 3."
The Guardian has reported that "The reliability of postal deliveries has reached record levels with more than nine out of 10 first class letters arriving a day after being posted, the Royal Mail has announced."
The DM Bulletin has reported that "Otto, the world's biggest mail-order company, is reviewing its UK eCRM account as it looks to encourage more customers to shop online, rather than using its paper catalogues."
The Presiding Officer of the Postal Rate Commission has admitted Confirm service supplemental testimony by Cameron Bellamy in the R2006 proceeding overruling the Postal Service's efforts to keep this testimony out of the record. The Association for Postal Commerce joined with several other organizations in supporting Bellamy's request.
According to Knowledge@Wharton, "Michael J. Critelli isn't one of the business world's high-profile CEOs. But his tenure at Pitney Bowes has lasted over 10 years, more than twice the average survival rate for Fortune 500 company heads. And those two facts, he noted during a recent Wharton Leadership Lecture, are probably not unrelated."
to PostCom Radio
Inquiring minds want to know: "What in blazes is Arago?" Check the National Postal Museum web site and find out.
The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest member:
ADP Financial Information Services, 51 Mercedes Way, Edgewood, NY 11717-8368 represented by Cliff Heney, Senior Director
Postal News for November 29, 2006
The Envelope Manufacturers Association has released a paper entitled, Competition and Change in Envelope Manufacturing: Dealing With Global Trends. The paper addresses the way customers are understood and assessed in terms of their value to a company.
The Wilmington News Journal has reported that "A labor election is scheduled for Thursday among nearly 470 DHL employees in Wilmington. They will vote whether they want to be organized for collective bargaining by the American Postal Workers Union, by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, or neither. Eligible voters include all full-time and regular part-time workers employed by DHL Express Inc. at the DHL Air Park in DHL's Gateway, International Services, and Shipment Recovery Center departments. Excluded within those departments are all office clerical employees, maintenance employees, temporary, casual and seasonal employees, and all professional employees, guards and supervisors."
U.K. postal regulator, Postcomm. has begun a 30 day consultation on the proposed issue of a new long term licence to Mercury International Limited. Under the new licensing framework that took effect from 1 January 2006, Mercury International Limited's licence would: allow it to provide all types of postal service; be issued for a rolling ten year period; require the company to comply with codes of practice on mail integrity (safety and security of the mail) and common operational procedures (designed to ensure the multi-operator market owrks well in practice). The consultation document and draft licence are available on the Mercury International Limited consultation page. Printed copies are available from Postcomm at Hercules House, 6 Hercules Road, London, SE1 7DB. The closing date for responses is 24 December 2006.
RFID is already used in the postal and courier service for secure access by people entering vehicles and secure areas, in location of critical packages, tracking conveyances, vehicles and trailers. In the postal track at RFID Smart Labels USA Boston Feb 21-22, speakers will include the worlds largest postal authority, the US Postal Service and the RFID supplier with the longest track record in that sector, Lyngsoe Systems of Denmark. The global situation and future trends will be analysed by top experts and those attending will receive a free copy of the acclaimed IDTechEx report RFID in Action 2006/7.
CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
While Japan Post enjoyed highly positive developments in the Postal Sa- vings and Postal Life Insurance Services during 2006, the Postal Service seg- ment is ailing. Ended on 31 March, the financial year showed an approx. 12.5bn euros turnover, which is almost 1% below the previous year, while the profit slumped by 42% (99.2m euros).
"Absolutely scandalous", says German trade union ver.di about a TNT re- cruitment campaign in Germany aimed at young people.
President of the Swiss Confederation Moritz Leuenberger has put a damper on Schweizerische Posts hopes for a banking license.
Postal workers all over Europe are currently demonstrating for higher wa- ges and against job cuts. After the French workers took the lead mid-November in a pro- test movement against the market opening decided by the EU, postal workers in Poland, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal have followed suit and gone on strike.
In Spain, private postal service providers will in future be able to use the national post Correos network, according to a decree issued by the Spanish par- liament on 10 November.
Last week, Osterreichische Post dismantled thousands of post boxes wi- thout warning. A representative confirmed press reports claiming that 2,800 out of 20,506 post boxes were removed. Apparently, only post boxes in the immediate vicinity of another post box were taken down and only in urban areas. The post said in 46% of all post boxes ten letters or fewer were posted per day.
Both the Argentinean and Mexican post companies are back in the black.
France's La Poste is investigating the possibility of selling newspapers and magazines at post offices.
Emirates Post wants to grow through acquisitions.
Adrexo, the first license holder in the French postal market, has embarked upon an expansion strategy only weeks after being granted a license.
The EU Commission intends to investigate whether illegal subsidies were paid in connection with the extension of the DHL hub at the Leipzig/Halle airport.
Mexican transport and parcel sector workers continue to suffer very poor working conditions. The opening of the market to unrestricted competition has not im- proved the situation.
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.
The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "Over 12,000 postmen going on strike spells trouble not only for millions of Poles looking forward to sending Christmas cards to their loved ones; the protest by employees of Poczta Polska has ruined the promotional strategy of a number of companies which rely on the state mail and has generally made life much harder for virtually all of its customers. At the same time, it uncovered the inefficiency of the state-controlled institution. Perhaps the strengthening competition will wake it from its slumber."
According to Cayman Net News, "Customers can now pay their Cable and Wirelss bills or top up their phones at Post Offices across the Islands."
The Associated Press has reported that "Israel's largest trade union began a sweeping general strike today, shutting down the country's only international airport and all the ports.Throughout the country trains came to a halt, government ministries kept their doors shut, rubbish began piling up and the postal, phone and electric services stopped."
Mediafax has reported that "Romanian prosecutors with the Supreme Court decided Tuesday night to take into custody for 24 hours international consultants Stamen Stanchev and Vadim Benyatov Don, charged with espionage in the privatization processes of some important Romanian companies. According to the Romanian Intelligence Service, or SRI, Stanchev allegedly met with officials within the Ministry of Economy and that of Telecommunications to obtain information about the offers forwarded by the competition regarding the privatization of electricity company Electrica Muntenia Sud, the National Radio Company and postal company Posta Romana.
Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL has announced a new programme that will streamline cross-border shipping in North America. Specifically, the DHL North America Trade Lane initiative will expedite cross-border shipments, saving time and money for U.S., Canadian and Mexican companies participating in the $8.8 billion cross-border express and ground parcel shipping market in North America."
Triangle launched its Postal Benchmarking Club during the recent UPU Strategy Conference in Dubai. The inaugural group of small and medium sized Post Offices, ranging from Malta to South Africa, decided that the initial aims and objectives should be modest and that it was important to obtain some quick wins 'in starting to share best practice across the postal world'. The Postal Benchmarking Club will meet for the first time in the New Year via telephone conferencing, chaired by John Modd, Triangle Management Services Director of Mail. Triangle will be coordinating and developing the Club and is expected in time to expand the group into various sub-divisions of interest. The initial fee will be US $5,000 for founder members in the first year.
Reuters has reported that "Time Warner Inc., the world's largest media company, plans to offer services that let consumers download movies from the Internet that can be burned onto DVDs in 2007, its top executive said on Tuesday. The company would likely make these movies available for such services, including one service with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., on the same day its DVDs go on sale."
Transport News Network has reported that "Amtrak Express Parcels is set to deliver millions of packages for the government following the launch of a new mail service aimed at the thousands of Government departments and offices around the country."
The Standard has reported that "The cost of sending money instantly within the country has fallen by 50 to 70 per cent for Christmas at least following the launch of a new service by the Postal Corporation of Kenya. Posta Kenya yesterday launched PostaPay, a domestic service provided in partnership with US-based Afripayments Llc. The service is set to go international early next year."
Kenya Times has reported that "Information and Communications minister Mutahi Kagwe has advised Postal Corporation of Kenya(PCK) to improve on service delivery in order to cope with new market challenges. The minister said money transfer service providers should improve on efficiency and maintain reliable and cost effective services. Speaking yesterday during the launch of Posta pay services, Information and communication minister Mutahi Kagwe said that if local companies are to make a niche in the competitive market there is need for them to embrace the recent technologies at the market."
AllAfrica.com has reported that "The President of the Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) Igbal Ebrahim, has advised Botswana Post to improve on their customer service or else they will not survive in the competitive market."
Postal News for November 28, 2006
From WebWire: "DHL, the worlds leading global express delivery and logistics company, today announced a new program that will streamline cross-border shipping in North America. Specifically, the DHL North America Trade Lane initiative will speed and expedite cross-border shipments, saving time and money for U.S., Canadian and Mexican companies participating in the $8.8 billion cross-border express and ground parcel shipping market in North America."
As Traffic World has noted:
It wasn't so long ago that growth in the postal business was something the integrated express carriers feared - and even fought. The United States Postal Service has seen a resurgence in its premium parcel services, Express Mail and Priority Mail, over the past year but that hasn't even created a ripple of concern among the express carriers. In fact, the aggressive rate hike UPS announced this month was the latest sign that UPS and FedEx are not only unconcerned about the seeming competitive threat but in reality pleased to see the USPS commanding more business at higher rates.
The slipping and softening market for transportation pricing is getting a big push toward higher levels from the field's largest commercial carrier. UPS threw it's largest list price increases in at least a decade into the parcel business for 2007, announcing a 4.9 percent rate hike for its ground and air express. The aggressive increase is far ahead of an effective 3.5 percent increase at FedEx Express and comes amid growing reports of a slowing economy and a retreat in other transportation modes, especially ocean and trucking, from the rapid rate increases of recent years. Analysts said rivals FedEx and DHL are almost sure to fall in line when they announce 2007 rate hikes for ground parcel service, so the UPS move effectively sets the benchmark for sharply higher prices throughout the industry.
According to PC Magazine's John C. Dvorak, "the Web is simply the next generation of news and information distribution, and it's also a print vehicle. I've lectured about changing media and, the way I see it, there are two distinct tracks to follow. One is linear media, stemming from the spoken word (TV, radio, stage, folktales, speeches, movies) and the other is random-access and searchable printed media (newspapers, books, magazines, the Web) stemming from the written word."
According to the BBC, "Christmas post in the south west is set to be delayed following a decision to hold a 24-hour strike at a mail sorting centre in Devon. The Communication Workers Union said members at the Exeter Mail Centre had balloted to walk out in a dispute over flexible working hours. The industrial action is due to take place from 1400 BST on 4 December, with up to 400 staff expected to take part. The Royal Mail said 450 managers would be brought in to provide extra cover."
Reporters Without Borders today condemned the removal of many independent newspapers from the list of publications to be distributed next year by the Belarusian state postal service, Belpochta, which has a monopoly of subscription press delivery and believes it can pick and choose what it delivers. The delivery ban will hit four national newspapers - Narodnaya Volya, Nasha Niva, Tovarich, Svobodnie Novosti Plus - and many regional ones, including Brestski Kurier, Vitebski Kurier, Borisovskie Novosti, Gazeta Slonimskaya, Intex-press, Lyahavitski Chas, Volnaye Hlybokaue, Hantsavitski Chas and Miastsovi Chas. This is yet another bid by the Belarusian government to silence the independent press by depriving it of its means of existence, Reporters Without Borders said.
From the U.S. Postal Service: "The U.S. Postal Service will deliver Express Mail on Dec. 24 and 25, helping families and customers across the country keep the happy in the holidays. The Postal Service expects to deliver 20 billion letters, packages and cards between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with the busiest mailing day expected to be Monday, Dec. 18, when more than 280 million cards and letters will be processed more than twice the average processed on any given day. Total mail volume on Dec. 18 is projected to rise to 900 million pieces of mail, increased from 670 million pieces on an average day. About 100 million First-Class letters are processed daily. That number increases to about 150 million a day during the holidays. About 12 million packages will be delivered every day through Christmas Eve. The busiest delivery day will be Wednesday, Dec. 20."
Haaretz has reported that "The two largest Israeli banks, Leumi and Hapoalim, have requested to be allowed to participate in the state tender to integrate the services of the Postal Bank into the commercial banking sector."
The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that "A Liberal senator has accused Australia Post and some of its workers of playing dirty politics in the recent Victorian state election."
Spiegel has reported that "A large German trade union is accusing the Dutch logistics firm TNT Post of trying to take over the market using "child labor." But TNT is technically within its rights. The allegations play into the union's efforts to secure better wages for postal workers at the Deutsche Post."
After having become the focus of a recent Wall Street Journal piece on the fall-out from the 2006 elections, UPS public relations director David Bolger has been discharged.
According to PostCom President Gene Del Polito, "The 'END' is not near....it's still under development."
From UPS: "Continuing its commitment to small businesses, UPS CapitalSM, the financial services arm of UPS, has become one of the nation's top lenders under the government-guaranteed 7(a) loan program of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)."
According to the Polish News Bulletin, "Legal experts believe that the Polish Post Office will not have to pay compensation for delayed post caused by recent strike action."
Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "Ver.di, the German trade union for the service sector, has threatened Deutsche Post, the German national postal services provider, with strikes across the board if the post office officials, which number around 60,000, have to work longer hours from 2007 without a wage increase by way of compensation. Rolf Buttner, head of Ver.di, announced at the weekend that there would be a major conflict if the working week was increased from the current 38.5 hours to 41 hours on January 1."
The Irish Examiner has reported that "over a quarter of post offices have closed down since 2000 and the entire network faces collapse in the coming years unless the Government addresses fears over declining business and a possible loss of social welfare payments."
From Market Wire: "A special version of Claritas Inc.'s popular You Are Where You Live (YAWYL) interactive website, is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Postal Museum as part of the newly-renovated "What's in the Mail for You!" exhibit. The new display is supplied with data from Claritas' current PRIZM® NE lifestyle segmentation system, which classifies U.S. households into one of 66 unique neighborhood types or "segments," each with a different name. The system ranks segments in descending, socio-economic order from 'Upper Crust' to 'Low-Rise Living,' and provides a reliable framework for companies to market their goods and services."
Swissinfo has reported that "Several hundred Swiss Post employees have launched a series of public protests against planned job cuts and a controversial restructuring programme. The demonstrations in three cities across the country come ahead of a new round of negotiations next month."
The BOPA Daily News has reported that "Launching of a business and communication centre in Francistown is another step forward for BotswanaPost to keep pace with a competitive communication world says BOCCIM president Mr Iqbal Ibrahim. As customers became more sophisticated, Mr Ibrahim said, they demanded products that were tailored to their ever-changing needs and preferences. Mr Ibrahim, who officiated at the launching ceremony said BotswanaPost was a communication service provider, which specialised in mail conveyance and was therefore threatened by similar service providers that had faster, efficient and cheaper means of communication. Therefore, he said, BotswanaPost should view these challenges as opportunities for diversification of the service and product offering to ensure that BotswanaPost remained relevant and meaningful to the communities it serve."
The Hamilton Spectator has reported that "A charity for kids with cancer said it has lost thousands of dollars in donations because of a blunder by a Canada Post letter carrier. The postal employee misread 160 donation envelopes addressed to the Camp Trillium Childhood Cancer Support Centre on Queensdale Avenue as solicitation mail for general distribution. Rather than delivering the envelopes to Camp Trillium last Wednesday, the carrier distributed them to houses on his route like [unaddressed, unsolicited advertising]...mail."
The Associated Press has reported that "Belarusian authorities have warned a leading independent newspaper that it could face closure _ a move its editor on Monday described as part of government efforts to muzzle critical voices. The newspaper, which marked its 100th anniversary this month, had to change its offices four times this year after authorities barred it from the capital, Minsk. The state postal agency has refused to distribute the weekly, and authorities also have barred it from subscription."
Borders Today has reported that "A Selkirk boss was left incredulous after receiving a note from the Royal Mail saying he owed them a penny, writes Sally Gillespie. But Royal Mail mandarins then added a "handling charge" of 80p on his penny mistake and expect him to pay a further 81p on his first-class letter. That's a whopping 8,000 per cent surcharge."
Postal News for November 27, 2006
From CCNMatthews: "Be kind to your letter carrier and "break the ice". Each winter, snowy and icy walks and steps present a danger to mail delivery personnel. Vancouver Island has recently experienced 30 centimetres of heavy wet snowfall. Every year, too many local postal workers experience slip-and-fall accidents as a result of slippery winter conditions. Canada Post urges homeowners and businesses to clear off their walkways and driveways to prevent accidents. "Property owners are responsible for clearing their pathways and sidewalks," says Bill Lynd, Safety Officer. "A lack of attention to these conditions may result in accidents and delivery delays, therefore customer attention and action to remedy these unsafe conditions is greatly needed and much appreciated."
As Business Week has noted, "Rather than becoming obsolete in the online age, he says, the old-fashioned catalog is the most effective way to make an emotional appeal to the consumer. And ultimately...the catalog is the best method to convince customers to go online. Sure, consumers may complain about the stacks of catalogs stuffing their mailboxes. But they're using them anyway, and their actions are speaking louder than their words to retailers."
Roll Call has reported that "A squabble among Republicans over spending bills makes it increasingly likely that the House will finish its business by the end of next week, with the Senate shutting down operations soon after." [What does this mean for postal reform? How about...I think I hear the fat lady singin'. Word has it that the House members of a recent postal reform confab presented its Senate partners with a list of changes they wanted to see the Senate make. From what we understand, these changes would have made mailers' hair stand on end. To paraphrase Pasquale Henry, "If this be postal reform...fuggedabotit."]
Neue Zürcher Zeitung has reported that "Several hundred Swiss Post employees have launched a series of public protests against planned job cuts and a controversial restructuring programme. The demonstrations in three cities across the country come ahead of a new round of negotiations next month. Trade union leaders said they would not give up their industrial action until they won assurances from the management that nobody would lose their jobs or have to accept salary cuts."
Postal Rate Commissioner Mark Acton is looking for a Special Assistant. Interested parties should apply.
UPS Press Release: "As more and more consumers flock to the Web to purchase holiday gifts, the nation's top online retailers are once again turning to UPS and its fleet of jets, trucks and state-of-the-art package tracking capabilities to ensure that cyber-shopping is as easy as a mouse click this holiday season."
The State of New Jersey legislature is working on a bill that aims to create a credit card do-not-solicit list for certain senior citizens and other "vulnerable consumers." Essentially, it is a do-not-mail bill aimed at a particular market sector. The bill was reported out of committee with amendments in late October and a fiscal note was added in mid-November.
As the Daily Star has noted, "Letter carriers have been collecting food during the holidays for 15 years, and this year is no exception." [Despite any differences among the members of the postal community over issues such as postal reform, this humanitarian undertaking by the nation's letter carriers deserves everyone's highest praise.]
International Freighting Weekly has reported that "Road Freight DHL trials safety deposit store rooms A major UK high street retailer is trialling an innovative solution from DHL Exel Supply Chain to the expense and security challenges of through-thenight deliveries. TTN Airlock allows deliveries to be made into a secure store-room location at shops that serves as intermediary storage during out-of-opening hours. Using RFID technology, drivers can open the outside door of the store room, make the delivery, and re-secure the door on exit. A web-based CCTV camera system allows an operator to view the delivery in real time on a secure internet channel."
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) "is questioning Royal Mails lack of openness on its Pension Scheme as it performs dismally in rankings published by FairPensions."
El Pais has reported that "Hundreds of Spanish postmen and their families held a demonstration in Madrid yesterday in order to demand a 33 per cent pay rise for the 65,000 staff of Correos y Telegrafos, the Spanish postal service operator. Furthermore, they are demanding that a salary revision clause be introduced in their pay agreement in order to adjust salaries in line with the development of Spain's consumer price index."
The Associated Press has reported that "France plans to require the maintenance of the sector reserved if the correct operation of the postal public utility is not guaranteed by the negotiations in progress around the European postal directive."
Florida Today has reported that "contract postal units or CPUs, scaled-down versions of post offices can be profitable...."They give the public an alternative," said Debra Thompson, customer-relations coordinator at Melbourne's main post office. "With the addition of the Minton Chevron location, we've been able to meet demands at the West Melbourne branch without need for any expansions." Balancing post office locations can be a headache for the Postal Service which must compensate increased demand in a growing part of town decline in another. "No one is building new post offices any more," Thompson said. "The Postal Service has a lot of post offices that don't cover their operating expenses, but the location has been there forever. It's very hard to close a post office and build a new one, so CPUs are very cost-effective for us."
According to KuenselOnline, "A week ago a teacher in Mongar received two parcels sent by her sister studying in the US. When she opened the parcels, to her dismay, one of them had already been opened and the contents fished out. Upon enquiry, the Bhutan post officials in Mongar said that they handed over the package just as they had received it. She still wonders where the contents of the other parcel disappeared."
As the Washington Post has noted, "If the next Congress follows through on Democratic leadership promises to conduct aggressive oversight of the government, a to-do list will be waiting, courtesy of Comptroller General David M. Walker, the head of the Government Accountability Office....Reorganizing the U.S. Postal Service, which is under increasing pressure from the Internet and competition from private delivery companies. That raises questions about whether the Postal Service "can remain a self-financing government provider of affordable universal postal services in the 21st century," according to Walker....Examining the presidential appointment process. Congress needs to look at whether some political jobs require certain qualifications and experience, such as those involved in national and homeland security, and whether other political jobs need to be given independence from the White House to ensure professionalism and objectivity."
Transport Intelligence has reported that "The news agency Reuters is stating that TNT Logistics will commence marketing of a 730million corporate bond today, Monday 27 November. Quoting "sources close to the deal", Reuters is asserting that the bond will be split in to two groups, one of 430m maturing after 8 years, the other of 300m maturing after 10 years."
The Indian Express has reported that "The governments plan to cap foreign investment in courier companies may hit a roadblock. The commerce ministry is opposed to the foreign direct investment (FDI) related proposal in the Indian Post Office Amendment Bill, after severe opposition from industry. Commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath, who received a letter from the Investment Commission chief Ratan Tata on this issue, has decided to oppose the Bills intent to impose a cap on FDI in postal services. At present, there is no such cap."
Postal News for November 26, 2006
As the San Jose Mercury News sees it, "today, the clerk who asks ``will that be paper or plastic?'' might as easily be referring to whether you'll be paying with cash or check vs. a credit or debit card. But eventually Americans will be able to choose among high-tech alternatives that will transform how they shop, pay for goods, borrow money, dole out allowances, transfer cash around the globe and manage their finances. The process could reshape the financial services industry as banks, phone companies, cell phone manufacturers, financial networks and scores of start-ups vie to profit by making transactions speedier, simpler, safer and cheaper for consumers and merchants. It also will force Americans to weigh trade-offs between convenience and savings vs. privacy and security." [Of course, the bill for all of this will come...electronically. As will the payment.]
The Associated Press has noted that "Internet shopping knows no boundaries, not even for products made behind bars. Maryland Correctional Enterprises, the manufacturing division of the state Division of Correction, has put its 182-page catalog online. Now anyone can see, if not buy, hundreds of items the agency offers for sale to government agencies and Maryland nonprofit organizations. The catalog is at http://www.dpscs.state.md.us/mcem."
The Sunday Mirror has reported that "with Christmas less than a month away, the postal service is in total chaos. A Sunday Mirror investigation has revealed that the Royal Mail's new charging system is proving a disaster."
Postal News for November 25, 2006
From PR Newswire: "Singapore-based company, World Marketing Group and The China Post, China's National postal bureau, collaborated to introduce the United States' most groundbreaking marketing ideas to Chinese business leaders at the Western Methods, Asian Applications Forums in Shanghai and Beijing."
Stamp of Approval. The National Postal Museum's newest exhibition, "Trailblazers & Trendsetters," gathers more than 75 pieces of original artwork commissioned for U.S. postage stamps. The works, in pencil, ink and oil, were the basis for stamps of Marian Anderson, Judy Garland, Duke Ellington, Jonas Salk and Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, among others. Free. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE. 202-633-5555.
According to one writer for the Pensacola News Journal, "don't fall for the fodder for public consumption that tax dollars do not benefit the USPS. They do and always will as long as it is a federal monopoly."
Also from the Pensacola News Journal, "The local U.S. Postal Service distribution center will not move to Mobile, a U.S. Postal Service official said Friday. The decision means 280 area postal jobs will stay put, said Joseph Breckenridge, spokesman for the Postal Service in Northwest Florida."
Postal News for November 24, 2006
Royal Mail scoops top prize at Personnel Today Awards 2006.
According to 24dash.com, "Thousands of postal workers in London are set to be balloted for strikes after union leaders rejected a pay offer today. The Communication Workers Union warned that industrial action could go ahead just before the busy run-in to Christmas. The union's London region turned down a new offer on the London Weighting allowance and will now seek permission from the national leadership to hold a ballot."
The Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service will meet in Washington, DC, at Postal Service Headquarters, 475 LEnfant Plaza, SW, on Dec. 5-6, 2006. The public is welcome to observe the boards open session, scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 6 in the Ben Franklin Room on the 11th floor. The Board is expected to discuss the following items: 1. Minutes of the previous meeting, Nov. 14-15, 2006. 2. Remarks of Postmaster General and CEO John E. Potter. 3. Committee reports. 4. Consideration of the Postal Service Fiscal Year 2006 Annual Report (Chairman James Miller). 5. Consideration of Final Fiscal Year 2008 Appropriation Request (Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President H. Glen Walker). 6. Capital Investment. · Flats Sequencing System Phase I Program (Engineering Vice President Walt OTormey). 7. Tentative Agenda for the Jan. 9-10, 2007, meeting in Washington, D.C.
The Kyodo news service has reported that "Out of a total of 20,223 post offices nationwide, 14,404, or 71.2 percent, ran deficits in fiscal 2005 ended March this year, down 1.2 percentage points from the previous year."
VillageSoup wants to share "Ten things you many not know about the U.S. Postal Service."
The BBC has reported that "A film about a German scientist's ill-fated postal experiment in the Western Isles is finally being screened in cinemas after a long delay. The Rocket Post tells the story of a scientist who tries to send post between Harris and the island of Scarp in the run up to World War II."
The Periodical Publishers Association (PPA) has highlighted the continued importance of the mail channel to publishers business models and future viability, as part of its response to the postal regulators Strategy Review. The findings of the review will help Postcomm frame its regulatory strategy in the lead up to 2010 and beyond.
The Anchorage Daily News has reported that "Life was never easy on the North Slope, where ground fog rolls off the Arctic Ocean and blizzards strike even in summer. But it got harder in June, grumble residents in this Inupiaq village of 4,200. That's when, to save money, the U.S. Postal Service decided to change how bypass mail gets to Barrow. Designed to assist residents in Alaska's poor, isolated villages, the program subsidizes bulk-mail delivery. The postal service program loses more than $50 million a year to run it, an official said. Under the program, goods essentially travel first-class at parcel-post rates -- quickly and cheaply. Rural Alaskans have taken advantage of bypass mail to lower costs for everything from soda pop to auto parts to dog food."
The Associated Press has reported that "Wage talks between Poland's national postal service and unions collapsed Thursday, prolonging a stoppage of deliveries in many areas of the country."
As the Colorado Springs Business Journal has noted, "Business and personal shipping will get more expensive in 2007, and thats bad news for some small businesses. The nations two major shippers, United Parcel Service and FedEx Corp., both publicly traded companies, have announced they will raise rates next year, and for UPS, the rate hikes will be the biggest in 16 years. The U.S. Postal Service also is expected to raise postage rates in 2007."
Business Edge has reported that "Canada Post will invest billions of dollars to modernize its postal plants across the country in coming years, says president and CEO Moya Greene."
Transport Intelligence has reported that:
A new DHL centre has been opened in Bilbao, situated at Loiu Airport. This centre will include DHL Express national and international road, sea and air services.
DHL Iberia has recently consolidated its presence in the Basque Country of Spain with the purchase of Transportes Egañaberri.
TechCrunch has reported that "Kirkland, Washington based company Document Command Inc. has launched its consumer facing web interface for postal mail called Remote Control Mail. The service provides an alternative to PO Boxes, mail forwarding or waiting until you get home from the road to deal with your mail. The company receives your postal mail, scans the outside of whats sent to you and provides a web interface to quickly sort through letters, bills, magazines and direct mailings. Users of the service are able to quickly view the front of anything sent to them and choose between having the items shredded, recycled, archived, opened and scanned or forwarded to wherever they are in the physical world."
Postal News for November 23, 2006
Union Network International has reported that "Widespread anger has been expressed at the "gagging orders" put in place by La Poste the Swiss postal service which has instructed staff not to talk to customers about their branch closure plans. La Poste aims to close over 200 branches. The project goes under the bizarre name of Ymago."
Dow Jones has reported that "China will complete its plan to convert the savings bureau of its postal system into a savings bank by the end of the year. As China moves to turn its postal system into a $10 billion standalone company, it intends to turn the postal savings bureau - where people can deposit money into interest-bearing accounts - into the China Postal Savings Bank. The savings bureau, with CNY1.3 trillion on deposit, will become China's fifth-largest bank by deposits, according to the bureau's Web site."
The BBC Monitoring Service has repored that "The Council for Portuguese [emigrant] Communities (CCP) asked the government yesterday "not to approve" the abolition of the "postal subsidy", the 50 per cent contribution to the cost of distribution of Portuguese newspapers sold abroad, next year. The decision to eliminate the postal subsidy system for the regional press puts at risk the survival of several regional newspapers and cuts one of the links which the emigrants still maintain with the region they are from."
Channel NewsAsia has reported that "Singapore Post is setting the stage to expand its presence in Indonesia. It is linking up with Pos Indonesia on four initiatives: channelling services, remittances, logistics and direct mail. The two parties signed a collaboration agreement to work together on Thursday. In a joint statement, SingPost and Pos Indonesia said the collaboration is part of a strategy to leverage on each other's strengths for growth and expansion."
Sources inform ''Globes'' that the Ministry of Finance has valued Israel Post Ltd. at NIS 1 billion for the purpose of the companys privatization. An external consulting firm valued the Postal Bank at around NIS 100 million only. Last September, the government decided to privatize Israel Post through an IPO followed by the sale of the controlling interest to an investor. Israel Post has a very large nationwide network, many real estate properties, an expensive equipment infrastructure, and currently has a monopoly, although the market is gradually being opened.
The Peninsula has reported that "The General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) has announced a rise in the subscription fees for post boxes, following a decision taken by the Council of Ministers in this regard. The rise will come to effect from January 1, 2007. This is the first increase in subscription fees over the past 20 years, Q-Post chairman and general manager Ali Mohammed Al Ali told Al Sharq. The last increase was in 1998."
The Associated Press has reported that "Sweden won European Union approval Thursday to pay postal service Posten AB 400 million Swedish kroner (44 million; US$56.7 million) a year in 2006 and 2007 to supply basic cashier services throughout the country."
Transport Intelligence has reported that:
EU has stated that it is investigating possible anti-competitive payments to DHL over the building of its new Express distribution hub at Halle in Germany. DHL received 70m of subsidy from the Lander government of Saxony-Anhalt, subsidies which were approved by the European Union's Competition Commissioners. However in a remarkably blunt statement, the European competition Commissioners Office headed by the former Dutch politician Nellie Kroes, commented to the German newspaper Handlesblatt that they "suspected that there were illegal subsidies involved in this investment".
ASTAR Air Cargo (ASTAR), with whom DHL partners in providing global transportation services under US Government Contracts, has been awarded an International Heavyweight Express (IHX) contract valued at over $29 million from the Department of Defense (DoD). DHL, as subcontractor under the IHX contract, will provide international heavyweight express pick up, delivery and related services worldwide in conjunction with ASTAR, which is a licensed U.S. air carrier operating from DHL's principal air and ground hub in Wilmington, Ohio.
The Taipei Times has noted that "People who are eloquent and have poise often have a competitive edge in a job interview, particularly if they are seeking a career in which a pleasant appearance is widely expected, as with flight attendants or TV news anchors. But lawmakers yesterday wanted to know why eloquence and poise should be a concern for a clerk working in the postal service. People First Party legislators Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) and Chao Liang-yen (趙良燕) posed that question to officials from the state-run Chunghwa Post Co in a press conference yesterday. They alleged that this year's Special Examination for Postal Service Employees, scheduled to be held next month, gives too much weight to the face-to-face interview portion of an individual's application."
According to the Rising Nepal, "The Universal Postal Union sees postal service not only as a service but also as a business. Therefore, it encourages governments of member countries to transform their postal services into an autonomous body so that they are able to manage their own affairs as an independent business organisation, without surrendering their social obligation of providing mail services to the people at an affordable price."
According to the Daily Mail, "A record 100 million goods ordered online will be delivered this festive season, the Royal Mail predicts. Retailers are braced for an upturn in both Christmas gifts and groceries bought via the internet compared to last year. The Royal Mail expects to deliver 30 million more festive online orders than it did in 2005." See also Sky News.
Business Week has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. are poised to close the year with a bang and the express package shippers have the Internet to thank, according to an analyst from HSBC Securities. While the trucking industry has endured a relatively disappointing peak shipping season -- hindered mostly by slowdowns in the automotive and construction industries -- UPS and FedEx stand to benefit from ongoing growth in Internet retailing."
Postal News for November 22, 2006
The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
In a letter, U.S. Comptroller General David Walker has urged Congress to address postal reform and other major issues facing the U.S. Postal Service.
PostCom Vice President Kate Muth examines the postal issues that are likely to command the attention of the 110th Congress next year.
Leo Raymond, director of postal affairs for the Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association, says the USPS is on record affirming that mailing service providers act as agents for their clients when submitting mailings.
In this article from Multichannel Merchant, author Jim Tierney reminds mailers that a mail pieces shape will be as critical as its weight in determining its postage under pending rate case rules. The U.S. Postal Service says mailers need to remember two more things automation compatibility and good address hygiene.
USPS, postal union extend contract talks. Rate case puts significant demands on catalog customers, printers. Air shipping of hazmat a growing concern. KFC requests Col. Sanders stamp in wake of USPS Kiss stamp publicity. Some MBE franchises claim UPS forcing them to go independent.
Americans to continue spending this holiday season; Internet sales will see big jump. Study shows technology helping Canadians communicate more.
Deutsche Post could shed 32,000 jobs in 2008. Unions, La Poste disagree on strikes effect. DHL plans to spend $14 million to expand service in Vietnam. Dutch government coughs up golden share. Personal squabble highlights chaos in South African Post Office. Brazilian Congress takes postal corruption allegations.
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Net4Now has reported that "Businesses may be used to buying stamps or credits for franking machines but now an online postal service not only provides the stamp, but is also printing and posting letters on behalf of its growing list of clients. L-Mail.com is an online post office that accepts letters in an electronic format from its clients, either through its web site or via its automated integration account (an API for the more computer literate). The innovative service then prints and posts the letters on behalf of its clients via 23 global locations."
The Borsen-Zeitung has reported that "Deutsche Postbank, the banking subsidiary of German postal service operator Deutsche Post, is aiming to gain 1 million new customers in 2007."
European Digital Rights has reported that "At the end of September 2006, after a reorganisation of the postal codes system (CAP), the Italian Post (Poste Italiane), now a private company, as well as the Italian Ministry of Communications have changed the way in which one could access the postal code online , limiting it to just one entry at a time, without the possibility to access the entire database."
The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation has reported that "The Communication Workers Union wants unionisable employees of the Postal Corporation of Kenya to reciprocate the recent salary increment by increasing their production. The Union's general Secretary Benson Okwaro said the union and the corporation's management had signed an agreement that provides for a 13 percent salary increase for unionisable employees to be spread over a two-year period. Okwaro said the agreement also provided increases in house allowance, leave allowance, car loan facilities, transfer allowances and hardship allowances. In a statement, Okwaro called on employees to double their efforts in improving the corporation's production. He said the union is negotiating for time off for breast-feeding mothers while on duty."
AllAfrica.com has reported that "The Sierra Leone Postal Services has suffered a big loss and set back in its plans, Salpost's dream has been shattered by a court action which prohibits from proceeding with the construction of a building that would have been used for the training of staff."
To help U.S. commercial marketers understand the new postal rate structure and plan for new rates when they are anticipated to take effect next spring, Harte-Hanks will host a complimentary, scheduled one-hour Webinar on Thursday, December 7, at 2 p.m. EST. Direct mailers may register at: http://harte-hanks.com/Webinar.
CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Three-quarterly figures for Post Danmark are characterised by growth in both turnover and result. However, market observers point out that the turnover has declined with each quar-ter.
Director General of the Universal Postal Union UPU, Edouard Dayan believes a better link-up between postal networks in combination with regional growth are key elements for the future development of the postal sector.
Up to 45% of the French La Postes 300,000 employees followed the trade unions call for industrial action last Tuesday, French daily Le Monde.
Deutsche Post has reinforced its international mail segment through ano- ther acquisition in Britain. On Wednesday, the German post announced it had bought London-based The Stationery Office.
Bulgaria's first purely private mail service will be launched in January. T- Post was granted a license by the regulatory authority, according to an announcement published on Monday.
Germany's Association of Courier, Express and Postal Service Providers (Bd- KEP e.V.) is "outraged at the extremely diverse postage rate concessions" gran- ted by the Federal Network Authority.
Schweizerische Post and the trade unions "Kommunikation" and "transfair" have settled for a new wage agreement.
DHL has decided against acquiring the remaining shares in India's Blue Dart Express Ltd.
Germany's Hermes Logistik Gruppe now has more parcel drop-off points than Deutsche Post. Hermes will start to offer a mail service in conjunc- tion with TNT from January 2008, when Deutsche Posts mail monopoly is abolished.
Ambitious Romanian operator Edy Logistics says its wants to become "the leading provider of transport and logistics services in Eastern Europe".
German parcel service Hermes has failed with its complaint against price cuts by DHL in the German market.
DHL could change its strategy in the USA and extend its ground network again in future.
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.
AFX has reported that "The European Commission said the deadline for its inquiry into Austrian post office Oesterreichische Post AG's buy of a 74.9 pct stake in German logistics services provider Trans-o-flex GmbH is set for Dec 19. No financial details were disclosed for the deal."
As Business Day put it: "Just as it looked as though the South African Post Office was finally on a path towards financial stability, chaos has again erupted. This culminated last week in the suspension of group CEO Khutso Mampeule, following a series of allegations which raise serious questions about corporate governance at the organisation, about the role of the board and about how Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri has handled this crisis. And make no mistake, its a crisis. In the past two months, former Post Office CEO Maanda Manyatshe, who still holds some sway at the organisation, has been locked in a bruising battle with Mampeule. Both have attempted to gag the press; both have levelled outrageous allegations against the other and the board; and both are now out of their posts, with Manyatshe quitting as MD of cellphone company MTN and Mampeule now suspended."
The Prague Daily Monitor has reported that "The supervisory board of Ceska posta, the Czech Post Office, has approved a transformation from a state company into a joint-stock company, spokeswoman Dita Vaclavikova said. The board has empowered chief executive Karel Kratina to elaborate on the project that is based on an agreement with the IT Ministry, the founder of Ceska posta. "
Techworld has reported that "Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba.com Corp. has signed a deal with China Post, the country's postal service, intended to smooth the online shopping experience for Chinese consumers, the company said Wednesday. Under terms of the deal, Alibaba will offer consumers the option to ship goods purchased online through a service called e-Youbao, which will be operated by China Post, the e-commerce company said."
From the European Commission: "The European Commission has decided under EC Treaty state aid rules that the remuneration paid by 'Cassa Depositi e Prestiti' to 'Poste Italiane' for the distribution of postal savings books from 2000 to 2005 is consistent with market conditions and therefore does not constitute state aid. However, the Commission has opened a formal investigation under the state aid rules into the remuneration paid to Poste Italiane for the distribution of postal bonds. The latter remuneration may be higher than the market price and could therefore constitute an illegal subsidy. The opening of an in-depth investigation gives interested parties an opportunity to comment on the measure. It does not prejudge the outcome of the procedure."
Transport Intelligence has reported that "The World Trade Organisation has released highlights of its 2005 report giving an insight into how global trade developed throughout the year. Of all the major trading nations, China stands out with an increase of its merchandise exports of 28 per cent."
From the DeSoto Explorer: Here is the kind of message NO post should be happy about seeing a customer pass along:
De Soto Youth Ministries would like to apologize to anyone who planned to attend their annual "Christmas at the Crossing" fund-raising event Nov. 17, but did not receive an invitation until after the event. More than 800 invitations were mailed Oct. 31, but were delayed at the Kansas City, Mo., Post Office. In spite of the delay, which caused a loss of guests, 150 people attended the auction to raise funds for teen programs. De Soto Youth Ministries co-owner Donna Wilting said the event raised a profit of around $9,000; which is less than the previous year. However, she said they were grateful for the funds and that community members who received late invitations were still making donations.
The BBC Monitoring Service has reported that "The rise of the Internet and the rapid growth in the cost of delivering periodical publications were the topics at the centre of attention at a business forum of print media today. Editor-in-chief of Moskovskiy Komsomolets newspaper Pavel Gusev "named the federal postal service as "the main smotheror of press freedom in Russia", which is pushing publishers of periodicals to the brink of extinction with its astronomical prices. In his opinion, only close cooperation between the regions and the centre, along with the creation of their own delivery services, will allow the print media to stay afloat."
The Evening Standard has reported that "One in eight customers are being charged the wrong postage since Royal Mail's new pricing system was introduced, research has claimed. The survey reveals 12 per cent of items sent in an investigation to test the new system had the incorrect amount of postage. The watchdog Postwatch slammed Royal Mail for a record which it said is 'indefensible and unacceptable.'"
According to the Associated Press, "Managers of Poland's state-owned post office sought Tuesday to head off the threat of a nationwide strike by letter-carriers who are demanding a hefty pay rise. Mail deliveries in some of Poland's major cities have been limited since Monday amid walkouts by some of Poczta Polska SA's letter carriers. Three labor unions that represent its 24,000 postal workers have threatened a nationwide strike, demanding, among other things, a 40% pay increase. Letter carriers currently earn some 1,000 zlotys (around $330) a month."
The U.S. Postal Service's annual report for FY 2006 has been posted on its web site. According to postalnews.com, this is only a "preliminary" report.
The U.S. Postal Service and its four largest unions have agreed to extend contract negotiations in a continued effort to reach negotiated settlements. Contract negotiations have been extended until midnight Nov. 30 with the National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO (NALC), National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA) and National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU). Contract negotiations have also been extended for the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO (APWU). Negotiations will resume on Monday, November 27.
Postal News for November 21, 2006
Kyodo news service has reported that "Japan Post will increase its net loss projection for its mail division for fiscal 2006 to roughly 28 billion yen from the initially estimated 5.6 billion yen."
Radio Polonia has reported that "If you sent a letter to Poland dont expect an answer soon. Poles are more and more worried about the outcome of postal strikes which hit still new Polish cities. Polish postmen have demanded substantial raises and in many places refused to deliver mail. In such places it is still possible to receive mail from local post offices but the trade unions have warned that if the talks with postal authorities do not bring expected results the strike may also include employees of post offices."
According to the DM Bulletin, "The £10m ad campaign Royal Mail ran this summer to tell the public it was changing the way it charges for mail delivery has resulted in 84% awareness of the new pricing structure, according to research from Postwatch, the body representing postal customers."
In a November 17 letter to congressional leaders, Comptroller General David Walker sent a list of issues he encourages Congress to address. Among the near-term list of 15 issues is a recommendation to Transform the Postal Services Business Model. The text accompanying that recommendation appears below. To read the entire list in GAOs PDF file follow this link: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d07235r.pdf
Abstracts of papers for possible consideration and presentation at the 15th Conference on Postal and Delivery Economics, May 30th - June 2nd, 2007, Semmering, Austria are due December 15, 2006.
IT Backbones has reported that "The world's first CD based training is all about RFID (radio frequency identification technology), including Bar Code RFID."
According to ElectronicsTalk, "Delegates from around the world gathered at the 7th RFID Networking Forum on 9th November 2006 at the Olympia 2 Conference Centre in London to attend a range of one-to-one meetings, case studies and discussion groups focused on the use of radio frequency identification technology across a number of industry sectors."
From PR Newswire: "Howard Spanier, operator of the nation's top sales Mailboxes Etc. (MBE) franchisee in recent years, now faces a major change as United Parcel Service refuses to renew Spanier's franchisee agreement as an MBE and he is forced to become an independent. Spanier observed, "UPS told us back in 2001 that we would always be able to renew as MBE stores, if we wished to do so, but that promise -- like a lot of others -- was broken by UPS. We all feel abandoned by UPS. It's the business equivalent of walking the plank -- jumping into the unknown."
NewKerala.com has reported that "The Centre has planned to convert post offices across the country into banks, and a bill in this regard will be introduced in Parliament in the winter session, Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology Shakeel Ahmad today said. Apart from functioning as a post office, it will also have full-fledged banking facilities, Ahmed explained to reporters, saying it will be known as the 'Post Bank of India'."
The BBC has reported that "Almost 100 jobs are to go at a Royal Mail customer services centre in Essex. The company has announced the office in Colchester will close with the loss of 97 jobs as part of plans to merge the service into six national centres. A Royal Mail spokesman said voluntary redundancy or alternative roles in a different department would be offered to those whose jobs would be going."
The Postalnews Blog has reported that "Comptroller General David M. Walker has provided Congressional leaders with a list of priorities for the upcoming session of Congress. Among the fifteen Near Term recommendations from the GAO chief is Transform the Postal Services Business Model.
The U.S. Postal Service and its four largest unions have agreed to extend contract negotiations to 3 p.m. today in hopes of reaching negotiated settlements.
MediaWeek has reported that "Magazine publishers, tired of being lumped in with old media, are embracing one of the newest media, mobile text messaging. Thanks to a new technology from a New York firm called ShopText and eBay unit PayPal, consumers this holiday season have the option of buying and sampling some products with their cell phones. Magazines like Details, CosmoGIRL!, Glamour and Brides are rolling out ads with short codes for text-to-buy transactions. ShopText also worked with Lucky magazine for a program in the publications September issue."
According to Business Day, "just as it looked as though the South African Post Office was finally on a path towards financial stability, chaos has again erupted."
As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has noted, "Not a single reindeer had returned our calls at press time, so we had to resort to checking with the post office, FedEx and UPS for a holiday package shipping comparison. In case you're skipping Santa's free delivery service, we also checked the costs and the estimated delivery times of the three shippers."
Postal News for November 20, 2006
From Business Wire: "A national program designed to increase awareness of consumers and businesses about the risks related to shipping dangerous goods has been launched by the largest trade association representing private mail and parcel shipping centers. At the same time, Associated Mail and Parcel Centers called for the industry to establish a Shipper Registry program to identify the sources of all packages dropped off for shipment."
The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest member:
May Development Services (a division of Direct Media, Inc.) represented by Ginny Halby Production Director
From PR Newswire: "Group 1 Software, Inc., a Pitney Bowes Company has announced that its Data Quality Connector(TM) 2.0 has achieved "Certified for SAP NetWeaver(R)" status as a technically verified, turnkey software solution that adds significant value for customers. Group 1 Software has also become a member of the distinguished SAP(R) Software Partner Program."
The Irish Examiner has reported that "A new 1.6m extension to An Posts national parcel processing facility at Portlaoise Mails Centre was officially opened today by Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey. More than 20,000 parcels are processed at the Portlaoise hub each day, comprising parcel mail posted in Dublin and Leinster, as well as all incoming international parcels." See also the Sunday Business Post.
The University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business has published on its web site an 'nterview with United States Postal Rate Commissioner and 2006 Smith EMBA Candidate Mark Acton.
According to Logistics Today, while "speaking to a small gathering of journalists attending the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) annual conference, Hans Hickler, the recently appointed CEO of DHL North America was enthusiastic in his view that DHL service levels must equal or exceed those of its two competitors, FedEx and UPS. DHL has concentrated on operational improvements which Hickler says benefit DHL by reducing cost and improving efficiency. Those same improvements are also beneficial to customers. In addition, the express carrier has been pushing a service culture through the organization. Hickler was very clear in stating DHL had no interest in making an acquisition in the less-than-truckload (LTL) area."
From Business Wire: "Kitty Hawk, Inc. has entered into a contract with the United States Postal Service ("USPS") to manage a daytime air and ground cargo network (C-NET) for the holiday season mail from November 28 through December 24, 2006. Based on successful performance of the contract, the total revenue to Kitty Hawk is estimated to be $29.33 million. The contract value includes the previously reported USPS award of $10.5 million towards the C-NET network, but does not include separate contracts with the USPS to charter seven of Kitty Hawks own aircraft to operate in the C-NET network." See also Inside Indiana Business.
PostCom Podcast Number 4
Mailers Council executive director Robert McLean has reported that:
Midnight tonight is the deadline for the contracts with the four postal unions. The craft organization publications report that last week negotiations moved to a downtown Washington, DC, hotel so meetings could continue nearly around-the-clock. As one example of the issues involved, here are those included in the mail handlers latest proposal:
- a new National Agreement to cover six years, from November 21, 2006 through November 20, 2012;
- the continuation of general wage increases during each and every year of the contract;
- the continuation of cost-of-living adjustments during each and every year of the contract;
- the maintenance of all current benefits and benefit programs, including the current formula for determining employee contributions for health insurance;
- the implementation of one-level pay upgrades for all Level 4 and Level 5 mail handlers, and other adjustments to the current pay scales;
- the implementation of increases in night shift differential and Sunday premium pay as previously outlined and circulated;
- the implementation of improvements in the clothing program and increases in the dollar amounts provided as clothing allowances.
Here are some of the issues the USPS brought to the APWU negotiation table:
- elimination of no-layoff protection,
- increased use of casuals,
- expansion of part-time employment,
- elimination of local negotiations,
- modification of holiday scheduling and pay,
- expansion of work and/or time standards.
Most observers have long predicted that the negotiations would ultimately be resolved through binding arbitration. Well know tomorrow if that will be the case. The Postal Service has nine collective bargaining agreements with seven unions covering approximately 684,000 career and noncareer employees. Negotiations with unions cover a full range of topics involving wages, benefits, and conditions of employment. The Postal Service still has CPI-based COLA adjustments in its collective bargaining agreements. Combined with double-digit growth in healthcare benefit costsan increase of $700 million in 2006 aloneresulted in salaries and benefits are $4.5 billion more than they were four years ago, even with tens of thousands fewer employees.
The International Herald Tribune has reported that "Postal workers at Portugal's three main sorting offices began a weeklong series of stoppages Monday, and the national mail company said deliveries could be slowed."
Did you know that postcom.org is visited regularly by people from over 102 countries around the world?
The New York Times has reported that "A consortium of seven newspaper chains representing 176 daily papers across the country is announcing a broad partnership with Yahoo to share content, advertising and technology. In the first phase of the deal, the newspaper companies will begin posting their employment classified ads on Yahoos classified jobs site, HotJobs, and start using HotJobs technology to run their own online career ads. But the long-term goal of the alliance with Yahoo is to be able to have the content of these newspapers tagged and optimized for searching and indexing by Yahoo. In that way, local news would become part of a large information network that would increase usefulness for readers and value to advertisers."
AFX has reported that "Two French state-run entities, the post office, La Poste, and railway, SNCF, said they will launch a 50-50 joint venture to transport postal freight in Europe with high-speed trains. The move comes amid a liberalisation in European rail freight markets that is attracting private sector companies."
USA Today has reported that "A woman walked into Bruce Bernstein's Pompano Beach, Fla., parcel shipping store with a box that she said had to arrive before July 4th. Inside were 28 pounds of fireworks, bottle rockets and illegal, high-powered firecrackers known as M-80s. "It would have taken down a plane no problem," says Bernstein, recalling an incident from two summers ago that underscores the difficulties private shippers have with keeping hazardous materials off planes. The Associated Mail and Parcel Centers, which represents over 3,000 small shipping centers, estimates that each year thousands of packages like this one slip unnoticed onto planes all over the USA. The leading industry trade group and the government have stepped up efforts to educate the public about shipping flammable goods. The rapid growth in shipments has made it increasingly difficult to police what goes into packages that crisscross the nation, the association says. Its members are small stores that pack items and funnel packages to the large shipping firms. They handle 29 million packages a year."
According to Stuff, "New Zealand Post plans to develop an online marketplace to help small and medium-sized enterprises export goods and services online, with possible financial backing from the Government. It intends to set up a website to let businesses deal directly with overseas consumers, while handling shipping, logistics and the processing of international payments for them. Spokeswoman Fiona Mayo says a decision on whether the proposal will go ahead could be made next month, after which NZ Post may approach the Government for help."
Postal News for November 19, 2006
The East Valley Tribune has reported that "Some Tempe residents have to choose between making a nightly trip to the mailbox in their pajamas or waiting to pick up their mail the next morning. Its gotten really bad, said Melba Terry, a Tempe resident who has lived near McClintock and Broadway roads for 33 years. Related Links News Tempe Every day it comes later and later, and I either have to get out of bed to get the mail or else let it wait in the box overnight and get it in the morning. U.S. Postal Service officials blame the delivery delays on the high volume of election mail and a spike in the turnover rate among Tempe mail carriers. Although the postal service has received some customer complaints, local officials said they are working to train new employees and get back on track before the holiday rush."
The Sunday Observer has reported that "The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication has planned to introduce Japanese technology to ensure a speedy and efficient service in the postal sector. Deputy Post Master General, R.P.D Gamini said, a Japanese organisation 'Mitzubishi' and 'Ravo' international organisation in Philippines will be providing technical assistance to uplift the standards of the postal sector. Under this technology, moneyorder transactions, mail delivery, telegrams and other related sectors will be upgraded."
Postal News for November 18, 2006
The Economic Times has reported that "Faced with a downturn in its business fortunes, China Post seems to have taken a cue from India's efforts to rejuvenate its postal services. While India has gone slow on the proposed amendment to monopolise handling of documents weighing less than 300 gm, China is all set to revise its postal law to bequeath China Post's express arm EMS (Express Mail Service), the sole authority to handle documents weighing under 150gm. Exactly like in India, all four international giants DHL, TNT, FedEx and UPS and over a dozen domestic operators are a disgruntled lot, since the amendment has the potential to paralyse the industry."
The Wall Street Journal has reported that "FedEx Corp., facing mounting regulatory and labor challenges to the use of independent contractors to drive delivery trucks in its FedEx Ground unit, is quietly rolling out concessions to more than 15,000 drivers. The move comes as the Memphis, Tenn., company was dealt the latest in a series of setbacks on the issue Friday. The National Labor Relations Board announced that 32 drivers at two ground terminals in Wilmington, Mass., voted to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters."
Postal News for November 17, 2006
If you really want to know who said what at the November meeting of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC), then check out the Postal Service's RIBBS web site.
Norwood News has reported that "While the United States Postal Service has not officially announced the consolidation that would take mail processing from the Bronx to lower Manhattan, the local union and the larger Bronx community, including Congressman Eliot Engel, have already united against its consequences. In the consolidation, which the USPS says is not imminent but definitely being discussed, mail normally processed at the General Post Office, at 149th Street and the Grand Concourse, also known as the Detached Mail Unit and Hail New York Truck Transfer Center, will now be trucked to the Morgan Processing and Distribution Center, at 29th Street and 9th Avenue. The General Post Office building in the Bronx would remain open for window service, but the entire borough's mail would be processed downtown, adding truck traffic to an already congested area, said Chuck Zlatkin, vice president of the New York Metro Area Postal Workers Union."
According to Supply and Demand Chain Executive, "It is well-known that the adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID) is happening around the globe. But where are the success stories, and in which market sectors? Here Teresa Henry with IDTechEx highlights the leading adopter nations, the big spenders and surprise niches for RFID implementation. IDTechEx keeps a close eye on which countries are eagerly adopting RFID and which are not. Our sources include intensive traveling, conferences, literature searches and our IDTechEx RFID Knowledgebase of over 2,300 case studies covering more than 2,500 organizations and 85 countries. The results are rather surprising. Firstly, the United States is the greatest adopter, with by far the largest number of cases of RFID in action and orders that are often the world's largest by value. It has even pulled ahead in the last year, with over 840 recorded projects. More surprising is the United Kingdom holding second place by number of cases, though not the money spent, where China has more claim to fame and Korea and Japan are strong rivals."
The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.
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The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site. In this issue: "The Parting on the Left is Now the Parting on the Right" The WHO; Confirmation Hearing Touches on Communication and Service; Postal Reform Still Breathing.
According to Le Magazine, "Deputy Thierry St-Cyr is without doubt the black sheep of Canada Post who has been summoned on two counts by the dashing young lad: the first one is a petition against the closing of the Verdun branch of Canada Post and the second concerns the private sale of lands occupied by the postal office."
The U.S. Postal Service has told its customers that "The comment period for our September 27 Federal Register mailing standards proposal ended on Monday. This was the earliest we've ever published and allows for a second go-around with an updated set of proposals. After we carefully consider comments from our first notice, we will provide an analysis, summarize any additional changes to mail preparation based on comments, and offer a second comment period. We are aiming for early January to publish a revised set of standards. After the second comment period we'll issue interim final standards in February. These standards will be as final as we can get them before the Postal Rate Commission's recommended decision (expected in early March), and we plan to publish them about a month before the decision. We hope that once we get the decision, we will need to change very little except for the new prices. We want to keep the standards as clear and as simple as possible to administer, and allow everyone to be prepared and ready for the May implementation."
The Shippers Newswire has reported that "The National Industrial Transportation League met with representatives from the air cargo industry this week at its annual meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to better understand the issues impacting this transport mode. Cargo Network Services, the U.S. arm of the International Air Transport Association, and Cargo 2000, an IATA-based group dedicated to improving the flow of international air freight, asked the NIT League shippers to strengthen their relationship with the air freight forwarders."
The Portland Press Herald has reported that "Congress appears unlikely to reform the U.S. Postal Service this year or in the foreseeable future, blocking one of Sen. Susan Collins' legislative priorities. The goal of reform proponents such as Collins, R-Maine, is to make the post office more competitive with the Internet and premium shippers such as FedEx by reducing its reliance on rate increases for stamps. But Collins, chairwoman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, said opposition to compromise legislation in September left little hope for action when Congress finishes for the year in December. "I am not optimistic that we are going to be able to resolve this," Collins said. "We had a very good agreement worked out at the end of September that was derailed at the last second."
UPS has announced new list rates for 2007, including an average 4.9 percent increase for ground shipments and a net average increase of 4.9 percent on all air express and U.S. origin International shipments.
Direct has reported that "The Reader's Digest Association Inc., operator of the world's largest-circulation magazine as well as a direct-marketing business, has agreed to be acquired by a private equity firm. Ripplewood Holdings LLC will acquire Pleasantville, NY-based Reader's Digest for $1.6 billion, according to an announcement made yesterday. Ripplewood operates a number of media assets including direct-marketing company Direct Holdings Worldwide, exclusive global marketer of Time-Life books, music and videos. The company also owns children's educational publisher WRC Media, which produces the Weekly Reader and distributes it to school groups. "
The Wall Street Journal has reported that "German mail and logistics company Deutsche Post World Net AG is considering expanding the services it provides to consumer goods manufacturers, executive board member Frank Appel told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview. Brand manufacturers, which are among Deutsche Post's clients, are interested in outsourcing certain production processes, such as the bottling of hair shampoo, Appel said. By outsourcing production processes, the companies could then concentrate on their core business as well as on development and marketing formulations, Appel said. Deutsche Post is one of the possible partners, given its international expertise as service provider for mass markets, he added. He said it was too early to talk about specifics. He said Deutsche Post was also considering offering accounting or IT services."
The Financial Times has reported that "Increased visibility in corporate supply chains will help the slowing US economy achieve a soft landing, Fred Smith, chief executive of FedEx, has predicted."
AFX has reported that "Dutch postal services group TNT NV said it reached an agreement with the Dutch state to scrap the government's so-called golden share. The move follows a September 28 ruling by the European Court of Justice that the golden share contravenes EU law." See also MSN Money.
Brazzil Magazine has reported that "Brazil's Post Office CPI (Congressional Investigative Commission), which is investigating charges of corruption in the Brazilian Post Office will hear the testimony of the former secretary general of the PT (Workers Party), Sílvio Pereira."
Postalnews.com has carried a story that has given a nice ending to a nice story about a nice lady.
From PR Web: "Mediachase LTD. has deployed the ATLAS Management System (IBN-AMS), which runs and was built on the Mediachase Instant Business Network (IBN) platform, for the US Postal Service (USPS). The USPS IBN-AMS is an innovative hybrid system, which both enables web-based project management and collaboration, as well as a centralized management portal which monitors and maintains the entire ATLAS system including health status and productivity information on ATLAS internal system components, dependant external systems, and Enhanced Distribution Label (EDL) information from USPS facilities across the country."
The Houston Chronicle has reported that "Deutsche Post AG's DHL unit said it will invest $14 million in Vietnam through a joint venture to upgrade its infrastructure and expand service to meet growing demand in the Southeast Asian nation."
GreenBiz News has reported that "A new program to offset shipping-related carbon-dioxide emissions, Carbonfree Shipping, has been launched by Carbonfund.org. The program was designed in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University's Green Design Institute. It involves a breakthrough method for calculating shipping-related carbon dioxide emissions."
From Xinhua: "It is a narrow trail that twists through mountains, some parts of which are along steep cliffs, posing a threat to the postman's life. This is the road Sichuan postman Wang Shunyou has to tread every time letters are sent to those living in faraway villages. Not many Chinese postal workers would face the dangers Wang does when they carry out basic postal services for the hinterland regions, but Wang's experience shows, indisputably, the costs of a postal service covering the backwaters are much higher than they are in and across the cities. This makes the recent decision by the postal policy-makers to raise mail prices partially understandable. The prices of postcard delivery and local letters will be raised by more than 30 per cent while ordinary out-of-town letters will go up by 50 per cent more. Part of the revenue from the price hikes is expected to be used to make up for losses incurred in the basic postal service."
The Savannah Morning News asked its readers to rate the U.S. Postal Service's delivery and customer service performance in Savannah. Here's what they had to say:
In other words: We're happy. So why does everyone keep talking about postal reform? And here's the article that sparked the survey.
As Brunei Direct has noted, "modern postal services face intense competition and global trends such as deregulation and free market economies, circumstances require postal operators to manage postal services on a commercial basis. This, as a result, called for traditional post offices to be more customers oriented and creative with new business ideas to increase productivity and to improve quality."
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has ordered favorably by voice vote confirmation of: The Honorable James H. Bilbray to be Governor, U.S. Postal Service; B. Thurgood Marshall Jr. to be Governor, U.S. Postal Service; and The Honorable Dan G. Blair to be Chairman, Postal Rate Commission. Full Senate confirmation should be a shoo-in.
According to Mailers Council executive director Robert McLean, "the USPS has selected Joanne Giordano, the USAID's Senior Advisor, to be its new vice president of Communications. She has also worked for several years in the private sector in marketing and communications. The official announcement will not be made until next month. "
Want to know more about who said what at the recent UPU Strategic Planning Conference in Dubai? Then check out PostInsight.
Le Monde has reported that "According to the CGT and SUD unions, 30-45 per cent of the workforce of the French national postal services group, La Poste, took part in a nationwide strike yesterday. Postal workers were called out as a protest against the European directive that will mean that all mail delivery is deregulated from 2009."
Suddeutsche Zeitung has reported that "Williams Lea, the UK corporate information solutions subsidiary of German postal service operator Deutsche Post, is taking over The Stationery Office, the document service provider to UK government offices, from the US investment firm Apax Partners. The purchase price has not been disclosed, but is expected to amount to around GBP130m (around 90m euros)."
DieWelt has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, is reported to be planning to close 200 post offices throughout the country, especially in Dortmund and Hamburg, which are each expected to lose 10 post office branches. As the services are to be contracted out to retailers, the total number of outlets is expected to remain at around 12,000, and management has assured that the change will not be to the disadvantage of customers."
From PR Web: "e-Merges.com (www.e-Merges.com) newly released Maryland Voter Study has proved that the USPS database was wrong over 36,882 times when compared to the actual State of Maryland registered voter file. The e-Merges study proved that 169 extended zip codes gave the wrong congressional district. Most of the errors on the USPS file occurred in the heavily urban Baltimore districts which disproportionately affected minorities."
According to CTV.ca, Canada Post has launched a stamp with permanent value, eliminating the need to add one-cent stamps in order to use old postage stamps when the price of postage goes up. The permanent stamps, which have a "P" inside a maple leaf where the monetary value normally appears on stamps, went on sale Thursday for 51 cents each, the current price of postage. The new stamps can be used by themselves after postage increases to 52 cents on January 15, 2007. Canada Post said it will also continue to accept old 51-cent stamps at the 52-cent rate after the January increase."
The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Con-way Inc. (CNW) said Wednesday that its Emery Worldwide Airlines Inc. unit paid $10 million to settle a dispute alleging the unit falsely billed the U.S. Postal Service."
Media Buyer Planner has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is mailing a holiday media guide containing information on USPS products, services and time saving features that will hit more than 110 million households this week. This is the third year that the USPS will issue such a guide. Independent research has shown that nearly 40 percent of people remembered receiving the guide and that more than two-thirds of those people found the information useful. The information in the guide can also be found on the holiday section of the US Postal Service website."
Postal News for November 16, 2006
Quad/Graphics has named Bill Graushar to the position of Vice President of Finishing Operations. In this role, Mr. Graushar will direct the company's vast Finishing operations, corporate-wide.
Business Week has reported that "Unlike its 160,000-square-foot flagship store in Freeport, Me., or the larger stores of some of its rivals, L.L. Bean Inc. decided against grand visual gestures like a fishing pond or climbing wall. Even much of the gear that the cataloging giant made famous, like duck boots and down-filled sleeping bags, has been relegated to a lower level. Instead, the emphasis at this suburban Boston outpost is on apparel, with plenty of brightly colored women's sweaters and kids' pajamas occupying the prime real estate up front. The formula seems to be a hit, judging by the packed parking lot and long checkout lines on a recent chilly Saturday. The stakes are even higher for L.L. Bean to get it right. For retailers as a whole, catalog sales have been stagnant for more than a decade. Customer response rates have declined while postage and printing costs have leapt.
WOW!! The Postal Service has received more than 300 comments on its proposed implementing rules. The comments will be available to the public in the Postal Service library. Some are already in the library, but the majority of the comments are expected to be filed there next week. Be sure to bring cash. Copies are 15 cents/page and the USPS library takes only cash. The library is on the 11th floor of L'Enfant Plaza building, on the opposite end of the building from the Ben Franklin Room. Visitors check in at the security desk, with photo ID, like any other visit to USPS HQ.
As the Wall Street Journal has noted, "When Joanne Bradford joined Microsoft Corp. in 2001 as head of online advertising sales, it quickly became clear to her that advertising was a lower life form at the software giant. Her direct boss called her ideas "stupid," she recalls. Ms. Bradford had run afoul of a Microsoft corporate culture that elevated technology above all else. Today, Microsoft is making up for lost time. It now has a fully staffed sales force on par with the rest of the Internet industry. It's investing in a broad range of services for placing ads on the Web, in videogames, on mobile phones and alongside Internet search results. In the latest signal that Microsoft has gotten the online-ad religion. The growing role of advertising on the Web has put Microsoft in the uncomfortable position of being a laggard while Google's market share continues to grow."
Sound Politics has an interesting piece on "Mail Ballot Lifecycle."
The Sioux City Journal has noted that "This week local and state officials said that a study of mail processing in Sioux City and around the nation indicated that closing the Sioux City postal distribution center would save upwards of $1 million. Postal workers say the decision is not a done deal. Are you concerned about your mail delivery service should the Sioux City Postal Distribution Center close?" Here are some of the comments it received:
According to the Communication Workers Union, "The latest report from the influential Government committee examined a number of issues currently facing the Royal Mail Group including the future of the Post Office."
The Guardian has noted that "Council executives in charge of maintaining databases of land and property are in the frontline in the battle against one of the biggest absurdities highlighted by Technology Guardian's Free Our Data campaign: that councils have to spend local taxpayers' money for the privilege of using data that they themselves largely created. The data are accurate lists of addresses, essential for public services and collecting council tax. Councils are responsible for naming and numbering streets (see panel). Most compile electronic gazetteers to ensure addresses are consistent and up to date. To be useful, however, these gazetteers must contain data from other parts of the public sector: geographic information from Ordnance Survey, a state-owned trading fund, and postcodes from Royal Mail, a state-owned company. Councils say they provide lists of street names and numbers for free - but Ordnance Survey and Royal Mail treat their data as a commercial asset and charge other public bodies to make it available to the wider public."
The Irish Times has reported that "An Post's new banking joint venture with Fortis is facing uncertainty following a decision by the postmasters' union not to work on the new project. The Irish Postmasters' Union said it took the decision because agreement could not be found on improved payments for transacting existing An Post business. In addition, the union said the company's failure to make any long-term commitment about volumes of social welfare and other State business and the payments to IPU members for operating these functions had also contributed to the impasse."
DM News has reported that "A fast-growing Internet-based company has fashioned an arrangement with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver all its international online sales. EFashionSolutions LLC designs and manages fulfillment for designer, luxury and celebrity-licensed brand fashion apparel. The Secaucus, NJ, company is now using the postal service's Global Shipping Solution for all orders placed through its 26 client Web sites destined overseas. GSS software lets companies like eFashionSolutions create online customs forms, print labels and track packages door to door. The process simplifies customs clearance, shortening delivery times.
RIA Novosti has reported that "Russia's information technology ministry spoke up Thursday against a proposal to turn the country's state-owned postal monopoly into a joint stock company. The Russian mail service has a socially vital role in Russia, being a means of communication, payment and money transfer throughout the country. In a bid to attract investment to modernize the service, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin suggested in April that Pochta Rossii be corporatized. But Leonid Reiman, the minister of information technology and communications, said: "I do not think it feasible to change the legal organization of Pochta Rossii until 2012." He told a Cabinet session that of the many countries that tried to privatize their postal services, few succeeded. "For example, the U.S. Postal Service is a government corporation and is subsidized from the budget to perform socially important functions," the minister said." [On the matter of budget subsidies...oh, how wrong he is. Besides, "privatization" isn't the issue. Getting the "incentives" right....THAT'S the issue.]
Transport Intelligence has reported that "TNT N.V. has signed a deal to sell its freight management business unit to French logistics service provider GEODIS SA. The transaction has a value of 460 million, cash and debt free. TNT estimates cash proceeds of above 400 million. The transaction will bring TNT a book gain of well over 150 million and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007 subject to regulatory clearances. Final amounts will be calculated on the basis of completion accounts."
AMEInfo has reported that:
The second day of the region's first UPU Strategy Conference hosted by Emirates Post highlighted the views of leading regional and internationally experts on the topic of 'Evolving postal network and ensuring sustainable development of the postal sector.'
On the second day of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) Strategy Conference in Dubai, Brunson McKinley, Director General of the International Organization for Migration, estimated the volume of remittances in the six GCC countries is nearly US $20 billion a year, around 12.5 per cent of the total financial flows associated with immigration. Developing postal financial services, especially in developing countries, is a priority for the UPU.
Emirates Post signed two separate agreements with Yemen and Egypt on the concluding day of the UPU Strategy Conference in Dubai, to boost bi-lateral postal ties.
The Glasgow Chamber of Commerce has reported that "Royal Mail has applied to PostComm with proposals on a number of issues:
Royal Mail has stated in this application that one of the main drivers for the application is to reduce the high level of theft that staff experience when delivering high value items. Both of these proposals are available online at http://www.psc.gov.uk/policy-and-consultations/consultations.html
Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "German franking machine and mail processing manufacturer Francotyp-Postalia has announced its intention to float on the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt stock exchange in November. Proceeds are to be used to finance the purchase of German postal service Freesort and to expand business with the hiring out of franking machines."
Les Echos has reported that "La Poste, the French postal service operator, yesterday faced warning strikes by employees protesting against plans arising from an EU directive under which the postal market would be completely deregulated with effect from 2009. However, the industrial action caused minimum disruption, with fewer than 1 per cent of France's post offices having been closed, while services were almost normal." See also Le Monde.
The Associated Press has reported that "The U.S. Transportation Command awarded Tuesday a contract worth $47.1 million to United Parcel Services Inc. for foreign express delivery."
The Federal Times has reported that:
Press Release: "Quebecor World Inc. has announced it is enhancing customer value by expanding its co-mail offering at its new Bolingbrook, IL, mailing facility by 50 percent through the purchase of an additional 30-pocket co-mail machine. The new machine, which is expected to come online in the first quarter of 2007, will create additional customer value by allowing even more magazine publishers and catalogers to reduce their postal costs and improve delivery."
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.
Reuters has reported that "The United States Postal Service ended its 2006 fiscal year with a loss of $2.1 billion, largely because of a federal requirement to add $3 billion to a general reserve fund, it said on Wednesday. The service had hoped to offset the reserve's costs by increasing rates last January when it pushed up the price of a first-class stamp by 2 cents. The Postal Service has lost business in recent years to commercial rivals such as FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service, and because of increasing use of the Internet."
Postal News for November 15, 2006
From the PR Newswire: "On January 1, 2007, Phase III meters, as defined in the USPS meter migration plan, will no longer be certified for use. As production mailers migrate for compliance, the Pitney Bowes digital mailing system -- the DM16KR -- delivers new functionality that is performance-tested for flexibility and speed."
According to the Sunday Business Post, "Members of the Irish Postmasters' Union are refusing to take on any new work for An Post due to a dispute over payments. The union says it has taken the decision following a failure to reach agreement on pay increases for transacting existing business. The dispute will affect the implementation and operation of a new joint banking venture between An Post and the Belgian firm Fortis."
The Data Bulletin has reported that "Experian has launched Intact World, offering cleaning and standardisation of address data across 232 countries through a single online source."
Postmaster General John E. Potter today announced the U.S. Postal Service is reducing the time it takes a person to become eligible to appear on a stamp following death from 10 years to five. [Suggestion: Just pass up the honor and stay alive.]
CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
The Austrian post is expecting a continued stable mail market and a slight increase in turnover for the whole of 2006.
In an interview with Swiss daily "Tagblatt", Schweizerische Post CEO Ulrich Gygi advocated maintaining a residual monopoly.
Royal Mail intends to set up a free 24-hour support service for its employees. Independent experts will be available to give workers advice on various personal and practical matters, be it work-related problems, legal issues, money matters or simply childcare.
Petrol stations and grocery stores could be taking over the Swedish post's loss- making payment service, if parliament decides to follow the recommendations of a study carried out by regulatory authority PTS.
Canada Post has discovered an unconventional way of improving its competitive edge, particularly in rural areas. According to "Radio Canada" (07.11), there are plans to let staff use their own vehicles for mail delivery purposes.
Switzerland's Schweizerische Post has warned employees not to take action against the so-called Ymago cost-cutting programme, weekly "Sonntags Blick" reports. The paper quotes an e-mail sent out to all postmasters, in which the post puts a ban on staff wearing the "Ymago - refus " protest badge during working hours.
International trade union associations have declared their ambition to build a strong workers' representation inside the four big integrators. In a joint declaration published last Thursday by the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and the Union Network International (UNI), the organisations said their aim was to increase membership especially among DHL, FedEx, UPS and TNT workers.
DHL and the Vietnamese post have obtained a license for a joint venture.
Sweden's Posten AB continues to expand in the Nordic market. Last Friday saw the opening of a new logistics centre in Helsinki, Finland, which will be used primarily by subsidiary firms HIT, DPD and Sal-Trans.
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.
The presentation by H. Glen Walker, Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President of the U.S. Postal Service, has been posted on this site.
Record levels of revenue and volume helped the U.S. Postal Service conclude its 2006 fiscal year with net income of $900 million, but increases in fuel and labor costs limited the overall financial success.
According to Precision Marketing, "Direct marketing industry nemesis Roger Annies - the postie who was suspended in the summer for advising his customers how to stop unwanted mail - could be nominated for a Royal Mail First Class People award after a campaign by a local newspaper."
AFX Asia has reported that "China has decided to raise the prices for mail and postcard delivery services, starting from Wednesday, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the State Post Bureau. The price for postcard delivery is raised to 0.8 yuan from 0.6 yuan, while the price for local letters goes up to 0.8 yuan from 0.6 yuan per 20 grams for the first 100 grams, the report said. Domestic letters will be charged at 1.2 yuan per 20 grams for the first 100 grams. The price hike is aimed at paving the way for reform of the postal industry."
Cayman Net News has reported that "With Christmas coming the Cayman Islands Postal Service (CIPS) is working hard to draw its customers attention to the need to address mail accurately for quicker delivery. Things are said to be getting very confusing with customers using their new postcodes. "Inaccurate addressing means time has to be spent solving problems, which delays the mail," said the CIPS. "While our surveys show that 30 to 35 per cent of residents and companies are using the postcode, it now seems that a high percentage of that mail is being addressed incorrectly."
Dow Jones has reported that "Capital Research and Management Co. increased its shareholding in United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) by 72% in the third quarter, giving the investment firm a 10.1% stake in the package delivery giant. The Los Angeles firm, which was already the largest UPS shareholder, said Monday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it owned 66.9 million of the 661.6 million Class B shares outstanding as of Sept. 30."
The Anchorage Daily News has reported that "Starting next May, 80 UPS pilots will call Anchorage home. The Atlanta-based company, which handles all of its air-cargo shipments to and from Asia at Anchorage's international airport, made Anchorage a new "pilot domicile." That's aviation speak for "official home base." Although they don't necessarily have to live there, federal rules require pilots to begin their flight schedules from their home bases."
WebIndia123 has reported that "The Postal Ordinance Amendment Bill will be introduced in the coming session of Parliament said Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Dr Shakeel Ahmad. Speaking at a function to felicitate 10 postmen yesterday he said that the rights of postmen will be augmented by giving them more. Check and balances are also to be brought in place for the mushrooming privately managed courier and mobile services."
The Washington Post has reported that "Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said yesterday that she is not giving up on legislation that would overhaul the U.S. Postal Service and will try to win approval of the bill next month during the lame-duck session. Collins said she has met with the chief Democratic sponsor, Sen. Thomas R. Carper (Del.), and has talked with White House officials about how to revive the bill. Various proposals are being discussed by mailers and others to see whether modifications can be made to get the bill moving, she said. Still, Collins said, "I'm not optimistic I will be successful." Even if a new bill could regain the union's support and keep the White House on board, the revised bill has to pass the House. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), who has worked on versions of the bill, has expressed concerns about whether Congress should dictate a rate-setting formula, which he worries might lead the post office to reduce services in tight economic times. Waxman also wants to ensure that mailer discounts do not become sweetheart deals. House GOP conservatives, meanwhile, are afraid that the postal bill might shift some costs to taxpayers, making it harder to reduce the federal deficit."
The International Herald Tribune has reported that "An Israeli delegation was blocked from attending a United Nations-affiliated postal conference here this week, sparking protests from the U.N. and an American delegation. The four-member Israeli delegation, headed by the country's postal director, was turned back by immigration officials at Dubai International Airport on Monday because they lacked visas, said officials here, including Juliana Nel, spokeswoman for the Bern, Switzerland-based Universal Postal Union. On Tuesday, the U.S. delegation issued a statement regretting that the Israelis were turned back. The UPU lodged a formal protest with the Emirates government, Nel said. The Israeli officials lacked entry visas and had not made an advance application to enter the country to attend the conference, said an Emirates government official, speaking on condition of anonymity."
DM News has reported that "The new Universal Postal Union strategy of integrating physical, electronic and financial networks could dramatically facilitate expanding global trade. This was a key message brought forth by Pascal Lamy , director general of the World Trade Organization, who spoke at the UPU's 2006 Strategy Conference that opened Nov. 14 in Dubai, U.A.E."
As Khaleej Times has noted, "More than 700 decision-makers from 130 countries are meeting in Dubai to create a new roadmap for development in postal services worldwide and launch many pioneering products and projects. The experts including some 40 ministers from Universal Postal Union (UPU) member countries and a large number of high profile delegates from postal corporations are meeting in Dubai for the three-day UPU Strategy Conference 2006 which was opened yesterday by Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority. Being held for the first time outside its headquarters in Switzerland, the deliberations at the conference are expected to shape the World Postal Strategy to be adopted at the 2008 Universal Postal Congress in Nairobi. The World Postal Strategy is a four-year inter-Congress roadmap for the postal sector."
The Brunei Times has reported that "BRUNEI Darussalam and the United Arab Emirates will sign a memorandum of understanding on cooperation to enhance the countries' postal and telecommunication industry. The agreement to have a series of cooperation in the two sectors was made in a meeting between the Minister of Communications, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Hj Awg Abu Bakar Hj Apong, and UAE's Minister of Governmental Sector Development, His Excellency Sultan Saeed Al Mansouri, in Dubai yesterday. The two leaders met when the Bruneian minister, who is currently attending the ongoing Universal Postal Union Strategy Conference in Dubai, paid a courtesy call to his UAE counterpart."
According to KTVB, "What began as a drug bust has turned into what Boise Police detectives are calling one of the biggest mail fraud cases ever in the city."
Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL has announced the launch of ProView, a suite of web-based shipment visibility and event notification tools to enhance access to transit status information for ground parcel and air express packages. ProView will allow DHL customers to obtain a broad or specific view of all incoming and outgoing shipments, and be notified of important events via the technology platform of their choice."
The Boston Herald has reported that "New Jersey barber shop owner Carmen Triggiano...anxiously awaits the U.S. Postal Service's official announcement of its new releases each year. And for the past 16 years, he's shook his head and muttered, "What about us?" In his campaign for a postage stamp honoring the barber profession, the 74-year-old Triggiano has written to three U.S. presidents and numerous local, state and federal officials, and has secured the support of every barber/cosmetology licensing board in the nation. He's even tried to appeal to a higher power, Oprah Winfrey, whose father Vernon is a barber."
Gulf News has reported that "Total operating income from the Arab world's postal services grew 21.6 per cent to $1.34 billion last year, according to the Universal Postal Union (UPU). Postal authorities of the 21 Arab countries that serve 310 million people through 17,000 offices, also employ 119,000 people, which is 2.2 per cent of the 5.5 million world postal workforce. Nearly 70 per cent of the Arab postal administrations are public. The Arab postal authorities last year handled 1.2 billion domestic, 285 million international letter posts and 1.4 million percels. About 39.9 per cent of all the mails were letter post while 28.1 per cent parcel post and 28.4 per cent other products and services. Meanwhile, postal officials identified technology as the single largest challenge to the growth of this important communication sector."
The International Herald Tribune has reported that "In his first six months on the job, Prime Minister Romano Prodi of Italy has managed to hold together a fractious nine-party coalition. Now, Prodi and his finance minister, Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, are facing their toughest political test yet as they attempt to usher a crucial budget bill through Parliament that raises taxes and cuts government spending at a time when the Italian economy is among the worst performers in Europe. In the interview, Padoa-Schioppa reiterated a pledge to sell state assets to lower Italy's debt load. He declined to name specific state-owned assets that might be privatized but had previously said that the postal system, which became profitable a few years ago after five decades of losses, was a candidate."
Postal News for November 14, 2006
Financial Director has reported that "The government has seen its controversial decision to refuse to impose VAT on postage stamps backed by MPs on the Commons European Scrutiny Committee today, despite mounting pressure from Brussels. MPs decided to keep the issue under scrutiny, after noting that the European Commission had not withdrawn the proposal for a draft directive removing the exemption."
The National Postal Forum is the premier educational event/experience and tradeshow available to mail professionals today. Attend the National Postal Forum to get a complete education in the "Business of Mail." If your business or profession has anything to do with using mail, or any of the products and services available through the United States Postal Service... then this is the place you need to be! Next Forum: MARCH 25-28, 2007 - WASHINGTON, DC. Check the Forum web site for registration information.
The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest member:
Japs-Olson Company, 7500 Excelsior Boulevard, St. Louis Park, MN 55426-4503, represented by Michael Murphy President.
According to Yokwe Online, "Kempthorne said the U.S. territories and partner nations in the Pacific offer low-cost, politically stable opportunities for private investors. "There is untapped economic potential, like the American West during the last century," Kempthorne told hundreds of people at the 2006 Business Opportunities in the Islands conference at the Waikiki Marriott Resort and Spa. The presidents of the Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia attended the conference, as well as representatives from the U.S. territories of Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands. In the Marshall Islands, President Kessai Note promoted his country's low taxes and his belief that businesses do best when the government doesn't interfere. President Note did highlight the increased cost of doing business stemming from the postal situation, which was at the right forum in front of DOI Secretary Kempthorne and Insular Affairs reps."
From the U.S. Postal Service: "More than 105,000 customers have taken advantage of the U.S. Postal Service's Premium Forwarding Service (PFS), that allows mail to be forwarded from a permanent to a temporary address for up to one year. Available to all customers for a little more than a year, PFS exceeded its initial goal of 100,000 customers, and has found favor with "snow birds," those who seek warmer climates during the winter, according to tracking data. The service is so popular, the data shows, that the number of new subscribers more than doubled in September (6,866) from the previous year (2,787). PFS is a personalized service for sending all mail from a primary residential address to a temporary address using Priority Mail packages. Express Mail, First-Class Mail or Priority Mail packages too large to fit inside the Premium Forwarding Service package are rerouted separately at no additional charge. PFS is available only for domestic mail."
Today the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has scheduled a hearing at 10:00 a.m. in Dirksen. 342 to consider the nominations of: James H. Bilbray and Thurgood Marshall Jr. to be governors of the USPS, and Dan G. Blair to be chairman of the Postal Rate Commission. The committee broadcasts its hearing on the web: http://hsgac.senate.gov/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Live
The Chicago Sun-Times has reported that "It's a deal that's hard to lick. You run a company, and a quasi-governmental agency distributes images of your trademark and brand-name product -- and makes the public pay for it. That'll be the case for the Hershey Co. when its chocolate Kiss is featured on the U.S. Postal Service's 2007 Love stamp next year, marking the 100th anniversary of the candy. Now, fried chicken chain KFC is seeking similar treatment for one of its icons....So, is there a place on a U.S. stamp for Oak Brook-based McDonald's Big Mac? "
AMEInfo has reported that "Plans for the development of a unified GCC express mail and freight forwarding company, which will assimilate key individual players from the region, were outlined today at a media briefing for the Universal Postal Union Strategy Conference which is being hosted by Emirates Post in Dubai for the first time."
The Daily Pilot had this to say: "If the United States Postal Service were a publicly traded company, Tuesday would have been a good day to sell your stock. Yes, the elections are over, and we can once again carry our mail into the house with just one hand."
According to Newsquest South-West, "Christmas postal deliveries to tens of thousands of homes in Mid Devon could be disrupted in an ongoing dispute over flexible working and overtime. Members of the Communication Workers Union are due to vote tomorrow (Friday) on whether to take industrial action during the festive season."
According to Khaleej Times, "Door-to-door delivery of mail will soon become a reality in the UAE once the municipalities of all the emirates jointly furnish a feasibility report addressing the mechanism on devising a new postal address system and a zip code for each area to enable residents receive mail at their doorstep. The new service will be introduced soon because of the growing demand for delivery of mail at the doorstep. The cost economics of the new service is currently being reviewed, admitting that it is a costly process. once the logistics are in place and Emirates Post successfully match the market requirements with the operational costs of the service to suit the customers, the UAE will introduce the new service."
Hemscott has reported that "Business Post Group PLC said current trading is in line with its hopes and it expects a 'much improved' second half as its pretax profit fell to 1.7 mln stg in the first half from a restated 3.3 mln stg last year. The company said good progress has been made in addressing the operational issues in the Parcel Services business and UK Mail has continued to grow strongly, reinforcing its position as the leading competitor to Royal Mail. The company said it is creating a robust platform to achieve its strategic aim of developing itself as the UK's leading independent integrated postal group."
According to the Ottawa Citizen, "In these days of e-mail and text messaging, an old-fashioned personal letter starts to seem quaint -- so slow to write, and especially slow to send. Nowadays, we type out 100 quick words, push "send," and our missive is in our chosen's hands. Still, the romance we used to attach to sending letters still resonates in popular culture -- in films, on television, in music, in books. And that continuing resonance is a theme of a new exhibition, The Post Goes Pop, at the Canadian Postal Museum, located in the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau."
The Sioux City Journal has reported that "Nearly a year after the idea was first floated, it appears the Sioux City mail processing and distribution center will be consolidated with another U.S. Postal Service center. The feasibility study showed moving processing from Sioux City to Sioux Falls for outgoing mail with zip codes 510-513 and incoming mail with zip codes 512-513 will save an estimated $873,000 in the first year, primarily from labor cost reductions of $592,000. Many of the jobs pay in the $50,000 range. Although transportation costs will increase about $100,000 with the move, the AMP study holds that "service to most customers is projected to remain the same, and some overnight service standards may improve."
Postal News for November 13, 2006
PostCom Podcast Number 3
As one writer for eWeek has warned, "Don't let proponents of RFID technology lull you into a false sense of security."
AllAfrica.com has noted that "This year's World Post Day celebration which was recently held in Owerri, Imo State capital, succeeded in bringing to the purview the daunting challenges facing Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) which is one of the federal parastatals in the country. In these days of Information and Communicatioin Technology (ICT), there is perhaps every tendency to forget that NIPOST still exists and operates. However, the NIPOST has continued to carry out its operations across the country and the Owerri event was used by NIPOST's henchman to showcase what they called the new-NIPOST. Addressing the theme of this year's event tagged: "Reaching Everyone, Everywhere", Area Postal Manager, NIPOST, Imo territory, Mr Asuquo E. Abianaga, disclosed that the federal government reecently gave the institution 48 hours mails delivery target."
Gulf News has reported that "Emirates Post will acquire an Indian cargo and courier company as it moves into new businesses before its proposed privatisation next year."
The Guernsey Press and Star has reported that "Guernsey Post applied in September for local and UK rates to increase annually from April for the next three years. But after an extensive review of its operation, the Office of Utility Regulation wants to cap the increase. It is confident that can be done without compromising the companys service in terms of the number of post offices and frequency of deliveries. The OUR intends to limit the increases for certain postal tariffs, including those for bulk mail."
IBN Live has reported that "It was one department which withstood privatisation in the public sector for years. But now, the Government is planning to experiment with the franchisee system in the postal services. About 100 licenses are being given out to private players willing to run post offices in the country. "The Bill to amend the Postal Act will come in the winter session, says Minister of State, Communications, Dr Shakeel Ahmed. The franchisees will provide all the counter services including speed posts and money orders. They will also be allowed to execute a number of banking services done across the counter in post offices like cheque collection, delivery (for the moment) and transmission facilities will be carried out only by the postal department. So while the Government wants to review this scheme after six months, trade unions say this could mark the entry of private players in the oldest service provider in the country."
The Association for Postal Commerce has filed two sets of comments (PostCom One and PostCom Two) with the U.S. Postal Service on its proposed rules governing the implementation of R2006-1 rates and mail qualifications requirements.
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.
Transport Intelligence has reported that "The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has recently reported that international freight traffic rose 4.9%, up from 4.7% in August but below the historic long-term average growth of 6.0%. For the year to date, freight demand has grown 5.2% over the same period in 2005."
PowerHomeBiz.com has reported that "PaperNuts.com has announced the launch of its broad line of environmentally friendly packaging products featuring PaperNuts. PaperNuts products are perfect for use by shippers and packagers who are looking to reduce environmental pollution and take an earth friendly stance. PaperNuts are a new loose fill which are a superior alternative to expanded polystyrene and cornstarch derivatives. PaperNuts are made from 100% recycled materials - old corrugated cartons (post consumer) and paper processing production waste (post industrial). PaperNuts will begin to degrade when exposed to moisture. PaperNuts offer superior resistance to compression; substantial void fill capability and provide protection from shock, vibration and product migration. PaperNuts surpass many other loose fill materials while being biodegradable, non-toxic, reusable, easily recyclable in existing waste streams, and compostable."
According to one writer for Direct, "The direct marketing industry will be saddled with the term "junk mail" until either mail, or DM itself, no longer exists. If someday the standard package with lift letter, buckslip and reply card is found to be a panacea for the world's immunological ills, the headline will still be "Junk Mail Cures Spattergroit, Other Diseases". The primary reason for this lies squarely on the blocky noggins of newspaper headline writers....Someday we'll get that message out in a form that even headline writers will be able to understand."
The Sunday Times has reported that:
Easy Bourse has reported that "The recommendation is part of a broader push by the European Commission to liberalize the E.U.'s postal services, limiting the scope of state-owned mail carriers and injecting greater competition from the private sector. La Poste's unlimited guarantee comes from its status as a state-owned company, which makes the firm exempt from normal French insolvency laws and holds the government ultimately responsible for any debts. This makes La Poste a low-risk borrower."
Postal News for November 12, 2006
Postalnews.com has an interesting post which is coming from the Postal Service Inspection Service: " The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has teamed up with Supply Management Investment Recovery in Washington, DC, to sell 38 Segway scooters to the general public. Don't miss out on this chance to own your own personal Segway scooter. The scooters come complete with a User Guide, Getting Started Manual, and a "Safety Video" to start you on your Segway scooter experience. The auction will be held online at http://www.dovebid.com/Auctions/AuctionDetail.asp?auctionID=10806,with bidding beginning at 8:00 A.M. CT on December 6, 2006, and ending at 5:00 P.M. CT on December 7, 2006. For further information, contact Chris Register at the Dove Bid, Inc., Chicago office at 847-597-4410."
AFX has reported that "Deutsche Post AG (Nachrichten/Aktienkurs) plans to reorganise its finance and salary bookkeeping operations -- and may include outsourcing some operations to the Czech Republic and Poland -- in a move that is expected to save 500 mln eur a year, the Welt am Sonntag reported, citing Deutsche Post management. The outsourcing will only affect post workers outside Germany, the newspaper said."
According to the Herald-Mail, "Junk mail. The U.S. Postal Service doesn't like that term, while many people just don't like getting it. With the holidays approaching and several elections having just ended, there seemed to be even more junk mail - though some local residents said they didn't consider political campaign mailings junk."
El Pais has reported that "The Spanish government will today decide in favour of a deregulation of Spain's postal sector by approving plans which will allow domestic and foreign competitors to use the 4,000 branches, 12,000 vehicles and65,000 staff of Correos y Telegrafos, the Spanish postal service operator. Several postal services, such as letters of less than 50 grammes and basic recorded deliveries, will not be opened to competition, but will stay in the hands of Correos."
According tothe Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, made it clear yesterday that it intended to keep its banking subsidiary, Deutsche Postbank. Chairman Klaus Zumwinkel said that the bank would remain a strategic part of the group."
The latest UPS financial data has been posted on Yahoo.
The Anchorage Daily News has reported that "Postal worker Steve Adams learned the hard way that neither the Stooges nor Sponge Bob nor Looney Tunes can pass muster with a government agency deadly serious about its image. After an 18-month bureaucratic odyssey that earned a written shrug from Postal Service headquarters in Washington, Adams sees that he is powerless against his local superiors who want him to look like a U.S. Postal Service professional." [Whoever issued this ruling needs to get a life. Give the guy a break. He brings humanity and humor to the life of being a postal employee.]
Postal News for November 11, 2006
The BBC has reported that "The use of police officers to hand-deliver more than 200,000 witness citations has been criticised by the Scottish Police Federation. Figures from the Crown Office showed that 211,494 documents calling witnesses to court were delivered by police officers last year. The federation said the system was an "absurd" waste of officers' time. However, the Crown Office said police officers were more efficient than the postal system."
AllAfrica.com has reported that "The recently introduced Botswana Post Expedited Mail Service (EMS) is said to be growing, although there are a few complaints by some users about delays at the South African Post Office in informing them about the status of their parcels."
As the St. Cloud Times has noted, "Before radio, television, computers and cell phones, news traveled by word-of-mouth or by mail. Free mail delivery was the most important contact people had with the outside world."
AMEInfo has reported that "Emirates Post and the Emirates Philatelic Association (EPA), will jointly host the 19th Asian International Stamp Exhibition from 13-16 November, on the sidelines of the United Postal Union (UPU) Conference 2006."
This weekend at the NATIONAL POSTAL MUSEUM: "Trailblazers & Trendsetters: Art of theS tamp," from Thursday through Oct. 3. Open indefinitely: "Customers and Communities"; "Airmail in America"; "Artistic License: The Duck Stamp Story"; "Binding the Nation"; "Moving the Mail"; "On the Road," a history of city mail vehicles; "Stamps and Stories"; "What's in the Mail for You!"; "The Art of Cards and Letters." Open daily 10 to 5:30. 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE. 202-633-1000(TDD: 202-633-9849).
The Detroit Free Press has reported that "Postal carriers at two post offices in southwestern Michigan were suspended without pay last week following reports that they purposely delayed delivering mail or threw it away, the U.S. Postal Service said. The carriers were suspended Wednesday from their jobs in Battle Creek and at a post office branch in Grand Rapids. Postal officials declined to say how many carriers were involved, but the Battle Creek Examiner reported that the number in that city could be as high as 28."
According to the Market Watch, "The U.S. Postal Service advises on its Web site that you may legally mark it "return to sender" and the postal service will return it with no additional charge; you may throw it away; or you may keep it for free. Professional managers in the world of charities say that effective charities don't need to use giveaways; that unlike the stock market, where it pays to diversify, it is better to invest in just a few charities; that you should concentrate or focus your charitable contributions so they do the most good where you want them to do it."
According to the Lexington Institute's Sam Ryan, writing in the Federal Times, "Despite the surge of automating technology in every aspect of our economy, USPS remains stubbornly labor-intensive. Every year the Postal Service puts about 80 percent of its $70 billion budget into labor costs. It's no wonder labor settlements matter. Postal workers are dedicated, loyal and hard-working. Their compensation rewards them fairly, and no one is suggesting taking away wages and benefits earned. But postal workers and their unions must also recognize that excessive settlements could kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Today, the goose is not healthy. Future benefits for postal workers as opposed to pensions are under funded by more than $70 billion. There are fewer and fewer options for the Postal Service to grow profits when paper mail volumes trend downward. If you talk about government taxpayer bailouts, the magnitude of USPS problems dwarfs the potential collapse of a GM or an airline bankruptcy."
WOOD-TV has reported that "There are claims of letter carriers discarding and delaying mail at the Grand Rapids Northwest Post Office and Battle Creek Post Office. Since then, letter carriers have been contacting Target 8, informing us that management is behind the delays. The U.S. Postal Service tells us it is investigating more than a dozen postal carriers it believes may have deliberately delayed or destroyed mail. But we have received anonymous phone calls and emails from a number of postal employees, telling us there may be a couple of bad apples. "The bulk of our business is mailing," says Brian Quist, president of Kent Communications, Inc. "We mail hundreds of thousands of pieces every day." Advertisements and coupons you find in your mailbox are printed by Kent Communications, Inc., a West Michigan direct mailer. "It's not unusual for our customers to spend a million dollars a month in postage," adds Quist. Nationally, direct mail is big business. More than half of all mail processed last year was bulk, generating nearly $19 billion, roughly one-third of the U.S. Postal Service's revenue last year - $66.6 billion. " [Yup. And, whoever is behind this, is just throwin' it away.]
Postal News for November 10, 2006
The International Mailers Advisory Group (IMAG) will be holding an International Briefing And Update on Tuesday, December 12th, 2006 from 1:30 4:30pmat National Geographic Society, 1145 17th St., 9th Floor, Washington, DC. Topping the agenda will be a presentation by Paul Vogel, Senior Vice President, USPS, on his plans for the reorganization of the Global Business Unit. Other special guests will include members of the UPU Consultative Committee management team. There will be an update on some initiatives being undertaken by the UPU private sector group, including international Change of Address or redirection systems. PLEASE REGISTER FOR ATTENDANCE NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 5th.
NewKerala.com has reported that "Indian Postal Services and the Western Union plan to expand their joint operations aiming at a bigger slice of the hundreds of thousands dollars that are transferred by Indian diaspora to their loved ones every year. The two had entered into agreement in 2001 to provide Western Union branded money transfer service to consumers via 900 post offices across the country but since then the services have vastly expanded and now 8,500 post offices serve Western Union customers."
The Globe and Mail has reported that "Digital technology did not create the so-called "paperless society" that many had predicted, at least not yet, but it does have people communicating more than ever, says a new federal study. While the arrival of the personal computer spawned talk of the "paperless office," the study found consumption of paper for printing and writing alone more than doubled between 1983 and 2003. Volumes of postal mail snail mail have been rising, although its composition has changed. And couriers and local messengers are proliferating even as Internet and e-mail use is soaring."
From PR Leap: "Asia-Product.com, one of the largest online wholesale sites, today announced the official launch of their brand new drop-shipping module, which provides automatic and easy-to-use drop-shipping service to all the online shops owners and ebayers. Asia-Product.com has put its focus on providing wholesale computer and consumer electronics products, which include Digital Camera (DC), Portable Media Player (PMP), and TV related products from Asia and China, to the buyers allover the world. Online retailing industry has grown rapidly in recent years and hence a lot of drop-shippers, who do not keep products in stock and passes customer orders directly to wholesalers, have appeared."As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has noted, "Now that CheckFree Corp. has conquered the desktops of millions of consumers who receive and pay their bills online, it has set its sights on their mobile phones. The Norcross-based company is betting that Americans - like some of their Japanese and European counterparts already do - will be just as likely to reach for their wireless phone or other gadgets as a keyboard to conduct financial transactions. CheckFree and another local company, Atlanta-based Firethorn Holdings LLC, announced a partnership on Thursday they say will allow consumers to do just that."
The Irish Times has reported that "An Post said yesterday it was "hugely concerned" at three bungled kidnap and robbery attempts on post office workers in Dublin in recent days. The most recent attempt yesterday morning was foiled when the van driven by a criminal gang broke down on the M50 motorway before the post office on Ballygall Road East in Finglas could be robbed as planned. The Irish Postmasters' Union (IPU) also expressed concern for the safety of its members and said it would be raising the issue with An Post when it met management next week."
As The Street.com has noted, "Postal mail is an essential channel for following up leads generated by marketing communications or sales calls, and sales letters are among the most popular tools in a small-business owner's arsenal. You can write and send them at little or no cost. And it seems there's always the need for a good sales letter -- whether it's to follow up a phone conversation, a meeting, or a lead generated from marketing communications."
The Somerset County Gazette has noted that "A WEST Somerset sub-postmaster has accused the Government of crisis management in deciding the future of rural post offices. Graham Kennedy, sub postmaster at Alcombe, and secretary of the Taunton branch of the Federation of Sub-Postmasters, said uncertainty about the future of the post office was the most difficult thing for post office workers to deal with. He said the Government subsidy of £150million a year was not likely to be renewed in 2008 and post offices faced the possibility of closure, especially in rural areas. Post offices in isolated and rural areas had a vital social function as a place where older people could meet, pay bills, and get advice and information. He said: "The Government must identify what sort of postal service it wants in the future and how it will be funded."
The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
Postal News for November 9, 2006
Air Cargo World has reported that "In cooperation with the government of South Korea, DHL plans to do its part to turn Incheon Airport into a preferred logistics hub for the region."
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German national postal services provider, has reduced its forecast for its express division to between 300m euros and 400m euros in the interim report for the third quarter, despite declining losses in theUS."
The BBC Monitoring Service has reported that "The national postal companies of Slovenia and Montenegro have signed a memorandum of understanding, which is seen as a basis for long-term strategic cooperation that could see Posta Slovenije [Slovene Post] participate in the privatization of Posta Crne Gore [Montenegrin Post]."
The Azeri Press Information Agency has reported that "Communication and Information Technologies Ministry told APA that Universal Postal Union has granted exceptional privileges to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan will enjoy the privilege during one year. Azerbaijan was awarded privileges because of occupation of its territories by Armenia and lots of damage to the country. Azerbaijan will get benefit of $60 000 as a result of the privilege. The compensation will be accumulated in UPU fund and will be spent on projects in Azerbaijan."
WWMT has reported that "Some postal workers in Battle Creek and Grand Rapids are being accused of throwing away or delaying the delivery of mail. Some workers have been placed on unpaid leave. Extra mail carriers had to be brought in, as nearly30 workers in Battle Creek and another 20 in Grand Rapids are on leave. The postal workers are accused of not delivering "first class occupant mail" [sic], which is bulk mail that should go out to all addresses. See also the Associated Press and the Battle Creek Enquirer.
Enfield Independent has reported that "Royal Mail's decision to issue a secular-themed series of stamps tomark Christmas has been blasted by Enfield Southgate MP, David Burrowes. He said: "It's strange how a country with a Christian heritage does not celebrate Christmas in a straightforward way."
From the Federal Register: "This final rule revises the requirements for authority to manufacture and distribute postage evidencing systems. This final rule includes updating the regulations, removing obsolete text, and incorporating pertinent portions of the rules for postage meters (Postage Evidencing Systems) formerly contained in section P030of the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) (Issue 58). This rule integrates the requirements that apply to the distribution and manufacture of PC Postage [supreg] products, a type of Postage Evidencing System. In addition, obsolete references to requirements for manually reset and mechanical meters are eliminated. This rule is effective December 11, 2006."
The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
The Fareham & MeonNews has reported that "Hundreds of packages have been left stacked up at the Royal Mail's sorting office in Fareham after 23 posties went sick. Parcel delivery drivers were forced to cover the normal postal rounds with managers also pitching in to help. Royal Mail bosses blamed a large number of staff being off work ill at the weekend and hoped the backlog will be cleared by today."
The Postal Service's popular desktop Shipping Assistant application has been re-designed with new features to save customers time and money. The free and easy-to-use application combines label printing and package management in one program that customers can download at their convenience from www.usps.com. The new edition, Shipping Assistant 3.0, adds the ability to print customs forms and international mail labels, enhanced address book management tools, more user preferences and an integrated help component. Another new feature allows customers to schedule and manage Carrier Pickup requests right from the desktop application.As the Washington Post has noted, "Facing declining circulation since 1987 and diminished revenue for the past few years, major newspapers and their owners are trying to remake themselves for the digital age. Most papers have moved aggressively into Internet -- and some, mobile -- delivery of their news and ad sales, as they attempt to follow their readers from paper to the Web and beyond. But the changeover has been costly, and even though online ad revenue has been rising, it is not enough to offset the loss of classified and display advertising in newspapers. Newspaper companies also are feeling pressure from Wall Street investors, who see an industry that shows little or no growth potential."
Punch has reported that "Nigeria's postal administration must respond to changes in present-day communications sector, the Minister of Communications, Mr. Obafemi Anibaba, has said. Speaking in Lagos on Tuesday, noted that though postal systems had in the past, developed an efficient system of mail delivery, consumers' expectations were different body and required prompt response from those providing the service. He said, "Over the years, we have observed how postal administrations have developed an effective and efficient network for moving mail around the world at an affordable price to customers. However, it should be noted that the present system which was designed many years ago does not always meet customers' present-day needs as a result of the changes that have taken place in the communications sector." According to him, fierce competition and the emergence of new technologies and their impact on product development and enhancement as well as market pressures have dramatically transformed the communications marketplace and thus challenged the traditional ways in which the post is organised and managed."
The Associated Press has noted that "United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) is confident its growth strategy is working despite competitive and economic challenges, but it must improve the performance of its logistics business, the chief executive of the world's largest shipping carrier said Wednesday. "We know that we have to execute better than we have, "CEO Mike Eskew told investors at a conference at the company's Atlanta headquarters. When it released its earnings last month, UPS announced that it would cut 1,200 jobs in its air freight and logistics business."Federal News Radio's Mike Causey has said that "TSA has replaced the U.S. Postal Service as the most accident-prone agency."
According to the Battle Creek Enquirer, "The U.S. Postal Service says as many as 28 Battle Creek postal carriers were suspended without pay Wednesday over allegations of improprieties at the local post office. "There's an internal investigation going on at the Battle Creek Post Office conducted by the Inspector General of the United States Postal Service," said Jim Mruk, manager of public affairs and communications for the service's Great Lakes region. "What they're investigating is possible improprieties that may be taking place at the Battle Creek Post Office," Mruks aid, "We want to assure our customers that we take the sanctity of the mail very seriously and also the privacy of our customers. "If there's even the hint of a problem, we have the office of the inspector general investigate as quickly as thoroughly as possible." Efforts by the Enquirer to reach Bill Douglas, president of the Battle Creek local of the American Postal Workers Union, were unsuccessful."
Marketing Daily has offered "An Election Day Post-Mortem for marketers: Look for renewed scrutiny on media as an influencer of consumer behavior, stepped up regulatory practices, and sharpened debate on issues that affect advertisers--particularly in the realm of food and drugs. Interviews yesterday with politically savvy marketers and policymakers revealed cautious optimism. The rise of Democrats in Congress will mean the appointment of new majority party leaders to key committee posts. "The notion that media drive more consumption of things that may not be good for consumers--from junk food to costly prescription drugs--is likely to find its way into the campaigns and debate," said Adonis Hoffman, senior vice president of the American Association of Advertising Agencies in an election recap he wrote for the trade association. Over at the Direct Marketing Association, Jerry Cerasale--senior vice president of government affairs--concurred. He expects ranking Democrats to continue their efforts to ensure consumer privacy and also noted that automobile manufacturers--increasingly more dependent on the direct response channel--require more detailed knowledge of consumers. Dingell represents a state that is home to the major car companies."
The Washington Post has reported that "A voters guide mailed by nearly a dozen Republican candidates to nearly all Charles County residents days before the election continued to spark controversy this week as the Maryland Democratic Party called on state authorities to investigate the legality of the mass mailing. The guide confused many residents because it resembled the sample ballot that the county election board sends to registered voters, but it had large check marks next to most Republican candidates' names, which were printed in bold type. The Maryland Democratic Party asked state prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh and U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein to investigate whether the guide -- which includes a government logo that says "Official Election Mail, Authorized by the U.S. Postal Service" -- isa violation of federal law."
Transport Intelligence has reported that "Deutsche Post announced yesterday, 3rd Quarter results up by a third on2005.But the performance of its US Express division is a continuing cause for concern, dragging the rest of the Express business and the whole group down."
The Financial Times has reported that "Fred Smith, chief executive of FedEx, has warned that Airbus faced an uphill struggle to sell the freight version of its A380superjumbo after the express delivery group cancelled its order for 10 of the aircraft. Production problems with theA380 have delayed delivery of the world's largest commercial aircraft by at least two years. Mr Smith dismissed the notion that the cancellation of the A380 order could damage FedEx's relations with Airbus and European governments. "The question I would ask is whether Airbus is worried that they were unable to deliver on their contract," he said. "I cannot see why we would be blamed for doing what we are legally obliged to do - to look after the best interests of our shareholders and customers. We did not have any choice."
The margin of victory in the Virginia U.S. senatorial election may be slender, but it now looks as if the Democratic Party will be the majority party in both the House and Senate. Don't expect much beyond the absolute minimum from the "lame duck" Congress. H.R. 22is all but a footnote in American postal history.
As Forbes has noted, "On Dec. 20 UPS will deliver over 21 million packages in the U.S.--six million more than their average day's volume. FedEx on the other hand will deliver 8.5 million pieces on their peak day of Dec. 13. On Dec. 22, UPS expects to ship by air 5.6 million packages. For comparison purposes it should be noted that on Dec. 19the U.S. Postal Service will pick up in excess of 280 million greeting cards and letters for delivery by Dec. 23.That is a lot of mail, but it needs to be placed in the context of what they deliver yearly. Each year the post office delivers first and standard mail to the tune of over 200 billion pieces through sleet and rain and gloom of night. That is close to half of the world's mail."
Brunei Direct has reported that "Matters pertaining to the upcoming - UPU Strategy Conference in Dubai were among the issues discussed at the Asean Post CEO Round Table meeting that took place at The Empire Hotel and Country Club in Jerudong yesterday. Brunei Darussalam Postmaster General, Hj Abd Kadir Tengah, as co-chairman of the meeting said the meeting was important in many ways as it is a platform for continuous discussion, exchange of information and cooperation for the improvement of postal services in the region. Furthermore, decisions made during the meeting will chart the future direction of the postal industry in the Asean region. "The Asean Post CEO Round Table meeting serves to provide information or concrete input to be implemented regarding the postal industry," he said, adding that he hoped for a fruitful discussion and debate on the latest issues faced by postal sectors to forward to the Dubai Conference."
The Postal Rate Commission has issued an order accepting certification and sustaining, in part, objection of interveners to designation of responses to presiding officer's information requests for inclusion in the record for Docket No. R2006-1. The Commission concluded that there is insufficient time remaining in this proceeding to afford the interveners the full panoply of procedural due process rights that the Postal Reorganization Act requires with respect to the street time cost analysis elicited by the Presiding Officer's Information Request responses. Accordingly, the Presiding Officer's Information Request responses will not be admitted into evidence in this proceeding for purposes of establishing the truth of the matters asserted. Therefore, the information that they provide shall not serve as substantial evidence supporting any specific estimate attributable carrier costs."
Brand Republic has reported that "Deregulation of the postal industry has not yet severely damaged Royal Mail's position as the main provider of post to businesses, according to Postcomm's annual Competitive Market Review."
From Market Wire: "Quebecor World Inc. has announced a transformation plan for its U.S. Catalog Platform to create the highest value for its customers andto better position the company for future success in this important growth segment."
The Wall Street Journal has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) expects "steady, moderate growth" in the economy during 2007, with the economy possibly being "not quite as robust" as it was at the beginning of 2006 and during 2005, Chief Financial Officer Scott Davis said Wednesday." See also the Associated Press.
GovExec.com has noted that "Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., won his seventh term in Congress, gaining 55 percent of the vote to defeat Democratic opponent Andrew Hurst, a Springfield, Va., attorney. Davis has been a force in the GOP-run Congress since he was first elected in 1994. He currently chairs the Government Reform Committee, where he oversees federal contracting, workforce issues and the government's use of information technology. As current ranking member of the Government Reform Committee, Rep. Henry Waxman is poised to take over as chairman next Congress with the Democrats in the majority. Waxman said before the election that his top priority asleader of the panel would be overseeing government spending. Earlier this year, he said that he would investigate the prison abuse scandals atAbu Ghraib in Iraq; the intelligence used by the White House to justify the Iraq war; and no-bid contracts for work in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Gulf Coast. [Does Abu Ghraib have a postal escrow problem too?]
From the National Postal Museum: "Reaching Rural America Saturday, November 18, 2006 1:00 1:30 p.m. Join museum docent Ida Marie Giusti for a guided journey through the historic highlights of Rural Free Delivery. Explore a small-town post office, discover the challenges encountered in rural mail delivery, and learn about Montgomery Ward's mail order catalog. Meet Ms. Giusti at the museum's information desk. American Indians Saturday, November 18, 2006 1:00 3:00 p.m. Celebrate American Indian Heritage with stamps and stories. Read stories, use stamp images to learn about Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, and Sequoyah, and create a pot out of model clay inspired by stamps featuring pueblo pottery."
Posted on this site is a paper by RobertC ohen (Independent Consultant), Per Jonsson (National Post and Telecom Agency, Sweden), Matthew Robinson (U.S. Postal Rate Commission), Sten Selander (National Post and Telecom Agency, Sweden), John Waller (U.S. Postal Rate Commission) and Spyros Xenakis (U.S. Postal Rate Commission) entitled "The Impact of Competitive Entry into the Swedish Postal Market." Expect a fuller treatment of this paper in the next PostCom Bulletin.
Postal News for November 8, 2006
On Monday, November 13, at 4 pm in the 601 New Jersey Conference Center, former FTC Chairman James C. Miller, III, will present a speech entitled "Some Off-Beat Observations on Monopoly." In addition to having chaired the Commission, Dr. Miller is a former Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service. His talk will apply ideas about monopoly to two topics: First, political markets and how they are (or are not) affected by campaign finance regulation, and second, the privatization of the U.S. Postal Service and the changes in the business environment that have altered the way the USPS must do business.
Union Network International has reported that "The four big global logistics giants are the targets of ajoint trade union day of action on November 9 that is being coordinated by UNI global union and the International Transport Workers Federation. The aim is to expand union membership in the big four "integrators" - DHL, FedEx, UPS and TNT - and build global cooperation between national unions involved in the same companies."
From the PR Newswire:
As a result of inaccurate data, the average business could be wasting more than $180,000 per year by sending out direct mail that is not relevant or does not reach the intended recipient, according to findings from global data quality research commissioned by QAS, an Experian(R) company.
NetDespatch has developed aground-breaking home delivery management system for TNT Post. Using the latest web technology, it is the first complete end-to-end solution for doorstep deliveries and will underpin a range of new services that are being launched by TNT Post. Incorporating NetDespatch Velocity the suite of innovative web services for managing on-line customer service and depot operations, NetDespatch is also supplying TNT Post with a complete management information system.
The Business Standard has reported that "Postmen will now also sell bank loans. This will soon begin on a pilot basis through post offices in Maharastra and Goa, amid concerns of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that the use of intermediaries, such as post offices and others, raises the issue of agent-related risks. The post offices in the two states will provide banks intermediary services, such as preliminary processing of loan application by way of identification of customer, verification of address, assessing creditworthiness and credit-recovery mechanism."
The National Association of Major Mail Users has informed its members that "As of July 2007, the USPS (United States Postal Service) intends to enforce a new regulation that requires all commercial incentive mail destined for the United States to be run through CASS then Delivery Point Validation, and new, proprietary LACS software for address correction. Both the DPV and LACS are encrypted for privacy reasons and the USPS is restricting their use to the boundaries of the United States and its territories. For privacy as well as possibly Home Land security reasons, all the software vendors are restricted from sending the data updates to off-shore mailers, including Canadian mailers and service providers. The impact of this new restriction for the Canadian mailing industry is under assessment. From what can be seen to date, at minimum this restriction could impose the necessity of working with a domestic partner in the United States for address validation and correction, or possibly the use of a US mailing software that allows the mailer to connect to the LACS database through an internet connection. Issues here would include supporting the cost of software re-development by the vendor as well as pricing due to a possible lack of competition. At maximum, it could prevent Canadian commercial mailers from properly preparing incentive mail bound for the United States, disqualifying them from receiving the best rates for having certified, clean addresses. The restriction will have impact on other media that work in synergy with the mail: i.e. non-United States based Call Centres could be unable to validate/correct addresses for good bound for the United States. For more information, contact email@example.com."
IDTechEx, an independent market analysts, publishers and conference organizers, has announced the Sixth annual RFID Smart Labels USA 2007conference and Exhibition which will beheld in Boston, MA, Feb 21-22, 2007. Covering all the RFID applications and technologies, the event focuses on the business case for RFID, item level tagging, RFID progress around the world and state-of-the-art technologies.
RBPublishing Inc. has announced the launch of its newly renovated PARCEL website, www.parcelindustry.com. PARCEL, formerly Parcel Shipping & Distribution, is the only multi-channel media resource for shipping, warehouse, packaging, transportation and logistics professionals seeking information and advice to help them run more efficient parcel shipping operations.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that:
According to the Financial Times, "The idea of conducting business today without constant resort to e-mail is unthinkable. But have legal systems managed to incorporate this new medium into contract laws established, in some cases, by centuries of precedents? UK law has tended to use two principles: the postal principle an offer is made or accepted when it is placed in the postal system, and the instantaneous principle most obviously represented by telephone conversations."
The Star Ledger has reported that "later this month, the Newark postmark will vanish from the postal landscape as part of a cost-cutting measure that will shift all of Newark's mail to a processing plant in Kearny and give it that city's postmark. Frank Hurtz, a Newark resident. Hurtz, who has been known to lash out at local politicians on a regular basis, also had stinging words for the Postal Service. He didn't really care much, he said, about the disappearing postmark. "I'm more interested in the service and the service is lousy," he said."
Bloomberg has reported that:
CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
The British government is now taking a more rigorous stance in the dispute regarding Royal Mail chairman Allan Leighton's plans for an employee profit-sharing scheme.
On Monday, TNT announced the start of a share buy-back operation worth a billion euros - the third operation of its kind in the last 2 years.
Spanish trade unions criticise tests carried out by the post as part of the recruitment procedure. The trade union UGT (Union General de Trabajadores) claims Correos' recruitment tests are discriminatory.
France's La Poste is spending around 70m euros on anew mail sorting centre in the Essone region. Located south of Paris, the hub will be opened in 2007.
Post Danmark director Hans-Erik Nielsen confirmed that as a result of acute staff shortage, the Danish post would hire 15 postmen from Germany to work in the Copenhagen suburb of Brondby Strand by way of trial. Depending on the outcome, the German postmen could be deployed elsewhere, too.
From 27 .....November on Postal workers in Switzerland intend to start Monday rallies as a protest against job cuts.
The Czech post still dominates the mail market but has lost ground in other segments. This is the case particularly where newspaper, magazine and brochure delivery is concerned.
Plans for the privatisation of China Post are progressing. Last week the Council of State, the country's highest administrative body, officially confirmed the transformation of the post into a commercial enterprise.
Germany's Association of Courier, Express and Postal Service Providers (BdKEP) has submitted a petition to the German parliament, in which BdKEP complains against Deutsche Post AG's exemption from VAT.
Deutsche Post's CEO Klaus Zumwinkel has made a renewed appeal for a synchronised liberalisation in Europe. In view of growing competition, Mr Zumwinkel urged German Chancellor Angela Merkel to fix a time framework for the liberalisation of Europe's postal markets during Germany's EU chairmanship. Otherwise, Deutsche Post would be forced to change its plans for the market opening. Synchronisation was a prerequisite, said Mr Zumwinkel.
FedEx has announced the takeover of its long-termservice partner in India. Last week the integrator announced that Prakash Air Freight Pvt. Ltd was being taken over for23.5m euros.
On Monday Pan Nordic Logistics (2005 turnover:125.8m euros) confirmed the sale of its Solutions business division to the Norwegian post.
In May 2002 PNL - a joint venture between Post Danmark and Posten Norge AS - acquired Swedish express service provider Express gods Dag og Natt. The takeover was one of the building blocks when constructing the Solutions division, which at present employs only 4 members of staff. PNL president and CEO Benny Rhe Hansen said it was time for PNL to focus on its core business, i.e. parcels and palettes.
For the Norwegian post, the brand name Box is synonym of 3P and express logistics.
GLS, the European parcel network of Britain's Royal Mail, claims to be one of Slovenia's three biggest parcel service providers.
Through a last-minute improved bid, DHL UK was able to prevent industrial action. On Monday, British trade union GMB called off a strike ballot amongst its 5,000 members.
Express delivery agents in Italy have gone on strike. Employees of express operator ARE (Agenzia di Recapito Espress) went on strike after Poste Italiane intended to cancel their contracts at the end of the year. Apparently, the post decided to cancel the agreements in view of the pending liberalisation of the postal market.
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.
BruneiDirect has reported that "The significant role played by postal services is still relevant in the modem age despite challenges posed by competitors, said Minister of Communications, Pehin Dato - Seri Setia Hj Awang Abu Bakar, in officiating the 100' Anniversary of Postal Services during a ceremony held at the General Post Office in the capital. "The contribution of the post office to our country during the last 100 years is significant and cannot be ignored and the existence of the Postal Services Department today proves that postal services are still relevant despite the existence of competitors," he added. "The existence of private couriers in providing express mail service and also lately the Internet, e-mail, SMS, MMS and others, has undoubtedly challenged the existence of postal services not only locally but globally where the volume of mail handled by postal operators has dropped drastically." See also the Brunei Times.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Mail and logistics company Deutsche Post AG might cut up to 32,000 jobs when the mail market in Germany is fully opened to competition in 2008, the company's Chief Executive Klaus Zumwinkel told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview. The company might lose 10% to 20% of its mail business to competitors, Zumwinkel said, leading to around 16,000 to 32,000 job cuts and cuts in mail earnings in the same percentage range. He gave no breakdown of which jobs could be axed."
Postal News for November 7, 2006
According to the Portland Press Herald, "It doesn't make much sense that elected federal officials invited to the opening of a new postal sorting and distribution facility in Scarborough last week would be scared away by a few protesters. But because the protesters were members of the postal union, that's exactly what happened. No, it wasn't that the union members were on strike; they weren't. It wasn't that any had lost their jobs; they hadn't. It was just that the new facility's operational changes had altered some workers' schedules and led to others' reassignment. The union says that violated its contract, but the postal service says it didn't. There are procedures for settling such disputes, but for Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and Rep. Tom Allen to back off from celebrating the opening of the project, which pumped $82 million in construction money into southern Maine's economy, seems short-sighted and even a bit silly."
From UPS: "In the largest expansion of its international shipping portfolio in more than a decade, UPS has announced it will begin offering customers three, rather than two, daily time-definite delivery options to and from the world's most active trading markets."
The Argus has reported that "Nearly all of the roughly 4,500 campaign mailers tossed into Dumpsters at the Irvington District Post Office on Thursday have been retrieved and delivered, Postal Service spokesman Gus Ruiz said. The post office still maintains that most of the mailers were undeliverable because the names on the mailers didn't correspond to the addresses. However, because of concerns that some mail carriers might have mistakenly discarded deliverable mail and that the Postal Service's change-of-address database had outdated information, it chose nevertheless to deliver the mail. "I think there's a lesson to be learned here," Ruiz said. "We need to make sure that our system is giving us accurate information and that carriers get instructions that if they set something aside, they must be certain that it is undeliverable."
NewKerala.com has reported that "To increase its popularity, the postal department would provide a large number of services, both public and private, Union Minister for Communications and IT Dayanidhi Maran said here today. Addressing members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his ministry, he said postal work would no longer be a traditional one relating to mails, money transfer or savings bank."
ITP Business has reported that "Postal officials from 16 Arab countries were updated on issues concerning postal security at a four-day workshop conducted recently by experts from Universal Postal Union (UPU) at Emirates Posts Training & Development Centre, Dubai. The participants were given a comprehensive understanding of postal security from a global perspective by Randy Miskanic, UPU security specialist, and Jeanne Graupmann, postal inspector, International Affairs Group, US Postal Inspection Service."
Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL has expanded coverage of its pre-12 noon express service in Europe. TimeDefinite Deliveries are now available to 27 European countries. DHL management commented that time-definite delivery before noon was regarded as a particularly important service feature by businesses around the world. "We deliver to more places across Europe and Asia by 9 and by 12 than anyone else for businesses that value speed as well as reliability," comments Thomas George, Head of Marketing at DHL Express Europe."
According to CityNews, "Canada Post has a policy in place that's both simple and - it claims - effective. A consumer who doesn't want to receive those unaddressed ads can simply place a handmade sticker on their front door or mailbox reading "No Flyers Please" and their carrier will no longer leave the items. The same goes for those who receive letters at one of those community mailboxes, but your notice must be on both the inside and the outside of your personal delivery space. This in one solution, but it's not completely effective. Under the law, mail specifically addressed to you must be delivered regardless of whether you want it or not, even if you have a 'no flyer' sign."
Postal News for November 6, 2006
Albawaba has reported that "Empost, the UAEs national courier company has expanded its delivery fleet by introducing 25 new service vans to enhance operational efficiency and competitiveness in the courier services market. With the additional vehicles, Empost now has over 470 vehicles comprising of motorcycles, vans and trucks."
The Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service will meet in Washington, DC, at Postal Service Headquarters, 475 LEnfant Plaza, SW, on Nov. 14-15, 2006. The public is welcome to observe the boards open session, scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 15 in the Ben Franklin Room on the 11th floor.
The Economic Times has reported that "The postal departments proposal to cap foreign direct investment (FDI) in courier services and make small parcels and letters the monopoly of India Post has failed to deter the interest of foreign investors in this booming sector. While the Overseas Courier Services Company of Japan has firmed up plans to invest here, existing foreign players like Fedex and DHL are also pumping in additional investments."
So, what does Wikipedia say about the Postal Service? Take a look.
According to The Scotsman, "The threat of industrial action at DHL was averted last night after a deal was agreed between the firm and union officials. The GMB had been planning a ballot for strikes in a row over pay and claimed the delivery giant planned to make workers redundant."
According to PublicTechnology.net, "Howard Webber, the newly appointed Chief Executive of Postwatch has announced that Postwatch's blog www.postwatchuk.blogspot.com is up and running. It's a public-focussed piece of communication in tune with the times. "The blog will be updated regularly by Postwatch. More important it can be used by others to give their views on postal matters. Postwatch is looking forward to hearing about customer experiences good, bad or indifferent. We want to hear from all customers and from the postal industry itself. The blog provides a new channel of communication for everyone." [A neat idea! Now let's see of the Office of the Consumer Advocate puts up one.]
DM News has reported that "Returns management solutions provider Newgistics Inc. today introduces a new solution designed to assist companies faced with a consumer product recall."
According to the Rocky Mountain News, "EBay has been a boon to shipping companies, expanding business for the likes of the Postal Service, UPS, FedEx and others. The U.S. Postal Service is the clear shipper of choice and that's helped resuscitate a flagging mail- delivery operation. Postmaster General John Potter says eBay shippers have generated more than $1 billion of postage since the two started working closely together more than two years ago."
The Times of Oman has reported that "In a bid to brand the Omani postal sector globally, newly-established Oman Post Company (Oman Post) yesterday unveiled a logo that will serve as a symbol for quality postal services. The new logo will refurbish the image of Omani postal services and their global identity. It will help Oman Post aggressively expand its portfolio by introducing more value-added and flexible services."
Postal News for November 5, 2006
Radio Jamaica has reported that "Legislation is now being drafted to transform the Postal Corporation of Jamaica into a statutory body."
Postal News for November 4, 2006
U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have sent a letter urging the U.S. Postmaster General, John Potter, to address concerns raised by the Portland Chapter of the American Postal Workers Union at todays event marking the grand opening of a new postal processing facility in Scarborough. [Could this mean that the end of END is near?]
The American Postal Workers Union has told its members that "contract negotiations were proceeding as expected, with the union submitting proposals intended to improve the conditions of postal employees, and the USPS offering proposals that would degrade employee rights and benefits. Unfortunately, our hopes came crashing down at the negotiating session held Oct. 31, when management presented a series of proposals that, if adopted, would drastically demean postal employment. The subjects included: Elimination of no-layoff protection; Increased use of casuals; Expansion of part-time employment; Elimination of local negotiations; Modification of holiday scheduling and pay; Expansion of work and/or time standards. The unions response is straightforward: These proposals are dead on arrival. [Looks like binding arbitration is in the Postal Service's future. Indeed, expect that all four union contracts will have to be settled by arbitration.]
According to the Ledger Independent, "this year's political mail is more than twice in volume than the political mailings of the last major election. "There is an amazing amount of political mail that is coming through the system," Manies said. "Everyone is very aware of election mail." [Good! Now let's hope all these politicos remember the importance of mail before they contemplate caving in to those who are demanding "Do Not Mail" laws.]
AME Info has reported that "A high ranking delegation from Emirates Post recently met with members of the UPU Council of Administration (CA) in Berne, Switzerland to brief them on preparations for the UPU Strategy Conference, to be held at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai, from 14-16 .....November ."
The Chronicle Herald has reported that "Since the Conservatives gained power, no one knows what the long-term plans are for rural mail delivery and rural post offices. Thats because the Stephen Harper government refuses to put in place clear and concise measures to finally settle this important file and are, in fact, betraying the regions that would like to know if their traditional postal service will resume for good. Signals coming from the office of the minister responsible for Canada Post, Lawrence Cannon, are not encouraging. They have proposed no plan, schedule or budget. When we asked the ministers office to provide us with further details of a plan, their response was vague and noncommittal. The actions of Canada Post have already had considerable repercussions where, across Canada, people are forced to travel up to an hour to retrieve their mail."
The Philippine Daily Inquirer has reported that "the Department of Finance wants to raise its target collection from the sale of key assets next year from P500 million, including Philippine Postal Corp."
The International News has reported that "Pakistan Post has prepared a comprehensive plan to transform this national institution on modern and professional lines, said Chairman Pakistan Postal Services Management Board Arshad Khan."
Postal News for November 3, 2006
The latest issue of thePostCom 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.
The latest issue of PostCom'sPostOps Update has been posted on this site. In this issue:
From thePR Newswire: "On Wednesday, .....November 8, 2006, at 2pm EST the Decision ROI Institute and the BPM Forum will host a complimentary live Webinar discussion between four senior executives from diverse organizations. Each participant offers a unique approach to the dynamics of decision-making. The discussion will also be open to participation from attendees. Among the panelists: Patrick Donahoe, Deputy Postmaster General and COO, US Postal Service."
Reuters has reported that "FedEx Corp. said on Friday it will increase rates for express delivery unit FedEx Express by 3.5 percent, effective January 1, 2007."
The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
The Winton M. Blount Award of Excellence honors outstanding achievement in the field of postal research, education, or policy.Murray B. Comarow implemented postal reform following Blount's vision and ideals of reduced bureaucracy and patronage. His knowledge of postal policy, operations, and management has earned him the respect of his peers plus numerous awards and recognitions, including commendations from two Presidents of the United States. His initiatives as a lawyer, university professor, executive director, Senior Assistant Postmaster General, and consultant in both postal research and policy have established him as a very deserving first recipient of this award. Comarow is a past recipient of PostCom's Lifetime Achievement Award.
From the White House: "The President intends to nominateDan Gregory Blair of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the Postal Rate Commission and upon confirmation designate Chairman. Mr. Blair currently serves as Deputy Director of the Office of Personnel Management. Prior to this, he served as Senior Counsel of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. Earlier in his career, he served on the House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform and Oversight as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on the Postal Service. Mr. Blair received his bachelor's degree and JD from the University of Missouri." See also theFederal Times.
The Federal Times has reported that "A bipartisan congressional group has asked the Government Accountability Office to examine the federal government's efforts, including those of the U.S. Postal Service, to detect and deter biological threats."
From theFederal Register, "On September 11, 2006, the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service adopted a revision to its bylaws. The purpose of this revision was to enable Postal Service management to submit relatively minor Negotiated Service Agreements (NSAs) to the Postal Rate Commission for consideration without first submitting those minor NSAs to the Postal Service Board of Governors. Consequently, the Postal Service hereby publishes this final rule. Effective Date: September 11, 2006."
TheWall Street Journal has reported that "Productivity growth, a key driver of the nation's prosperity, stalled in the third quarter, raising questions about businesses' ability to continue squeezing more output from the same workers, a crucial factor in controlling inflation, boosting profits and improving living standards. Nonfarm-labor productivity, a measure of the average worker's output per hour, was flat in the third quarter compared with the previous quarter, the Labor Department reported yesterday. That was down from a revised 1.2% annualized growth rate in the second quarter. Compared with a year earlier, productivity was up 1.3%, less than half the blazing 2.8% average rate of the past decade -- a phenomenal surge that has helped economic growth in the U.S. outpace other developed nations. Even as the economy slows, companies are redoubling their efforts to squeeze more out of their workers. To save gasoline, drivers at United Parcel Service Inc. are making fewer left turns."
Science Daily has reported that "According to a new study by a researcher in the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, most people find spam more intrusive and irritating than direct mail. Morimoto's focus group participants also said that the cost associated with direct mail leads them to believe that they're getting information from a reputable company. Because spam is inexpensive to send, consumers tend view spammers as being less reputable."
NALC President William H. Young has expressed deep disappointment with the Postal Service's response to the serious and challenging full set of economic proposals put forth by NALC on October 24.
TheBelfast Telegraph has noted that "The future of many of Ulster's post offices hangs in the balance, thanks to government proposals to cut funding and withdraw the account card. Most at risk are post offices in rural areas, which are already struggling for survival despite efforts to diversify."
TheTri-Valley Herald has reported that "Postal Service officials are investigating allegations that Irvington district post office workers dumped tens of thousands of campaign mailers that should have been delivered. An initial review, however, found that most of the discarded mailers had been marked as undeliverable, Postal Service spokesman Gus Ruiz said."
DM News has reported that:
TheCroydon Guardian has reported that "A Royal Mail strike across London could be on the cards for Christmas after the Communication Workers Union agreed to ballot its 30,000 Royal Mail members in a dispute over London weighting."
PRDomain.com has reported that "Siemens announced that it has been awarded a $109.4 million contract modification from the United States Postal Service (USPS) for additional mail sorting equipment. The scope of the award encompasses an additional 211 Delivery Bar Code Sorter (DBCS 6) machines to expand USPS' existing fleet of letter sorting equipment. The company will provide installation and associated integrated logistics support services for the new machines in addition to carts used to transport trays of sorted mail. Production and installation of the DBCS 6 order is expected to be completed by Dec.1, 2007."
The Colorado Springs Business Journal has reported that "Post office officials have apologized for poor downtown service during the past few months and say a process is in place to correct delivery problems. "The service was not meeting customers' expectations. What they deserve is consistent, reliable service," said Al Desarro, U.S. Postal Service spokesman for the West. "We apologize for that, and our intent is to get service as good as possible, and hopefully this will be permanent change."
According to the Postal Service's chief rate case attorney, "pursuant to an agreement withWestern Union Communications, Inc., dated August 17, 2006, the MAILGRAM service has been terminated." [A footnote in postal history....]
According to theValley News, "The day after federal regulators announced they were fining the U.S. Postal Service mail processing facility on Sykes Mountain Avenue $40,000 for operating an unsafe machine, union officials representing about one-third of the workers there said the facility has larger safety problems."
GMB has reported that "5,000 GMB members employed at 102 locations in DHL Express in the UK are to be balloted next week by the union over the failure to reach agreement in this year's pay talks. GMB shop stewards have unanimously rejected to company offer."
Air Cargo World has reported that "FedEx Express made a new move to build its operations in India, agreeing to buy its service provider there, privately held Prakash Air Freight or PAFEX, for $30 million in cash."
Bizjournals.com has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. has begun its first inbound Trade Direct service in Asia. The Atlanta-based package shipper has debuted its UPS Trade Direct service inbound to Japan, making the service available from 50 origin countries in North America, Europe and Asia. The Japan service is the first Trade Direct inbound lane to be opened in Asia by UPS. UPS Trade Direct is an international freight service that combines air or ocean freight transportation and customs clearance with package and less-than-truckload service for final delivery."
TheSan Mateo County Times has reported that "A political consultant working to defeat Fremont's Measure K accused workers at the Irvington district post office of trashing tens of thousand of undelivered campaign mailers Thursday morning."
AllAfrica.com has reported that "Postal services are still the most accessible means of communication, despite the rapid development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the Minister for Communications Science and Technology, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, said this week. "Therefore, the services provided by Botswana Post remain an essential tool in the exchange of information in our society," the minister said during the opening of the Poso House Communications Centre."
WMTW has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service held a grand opening celebration on Thursday for its new $82 million processing and distribution center in Scarborough, but not everyone was in a festive mood. Postal officials said the state-of-the-art facility -- which has been in operation since July -- will replace the Forest Avenue center in Portland, as well as a number of satellite facilities in the region. Across the road from the center on Thursday, members of the American Postal Workers Union Local 458 held an informational picket to draw attention to what they said has been the mistreatment of workers at the facility. A number of high-profile guests, includingU.S. Sens. Olympia Snow and Susan Collins and U.S. Rep. Tom Allen, were scheduled to appear at Thursday's ceremony but backed out at the last minute, saying they did not want to cross the picket line." [You know....you just can't make up stuff like this.]
The National Association of Major Mail Users has reported that "the legal interpretation and feared widespread application of the Exclusive Privilege as it pertains to International Mail (including mail bound for the United States), continues to cause considerable industry churn, cost business for all parties, and create a climate of uncertainty for customers and prospective customers. No one is winning. Enter the hero: the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport and Minister Responsible for Canada Post Corporation, responded in Question Period recently that " we'll be coming forward in a few weeks with substantive steps to deal with the issue regarding international remailers."Read more click here: The ensuing debate in which the VAM Council will represent its members' legitimate interests, at least guarantees a voice to all impacted parties. Given the current state of fear and confusion in the mailing industry, NAMMU fully supports Minister Cannon's openness to driving a good business solution, in the legitimate interests of the parties concerned."
The Associated Press has reported that:
In a letter to the editor of E Magazine, Mail & Jobs Coalition executive director Peter Miller wrote that "Mr. Kreiger will be happy to know that there's a very simple mechanism in place to automatically reduce ad mail volume: It's called the marketplace. If consumers don't want the products offered by mailers, then mailers will not spend money to market through the mailstream. However, many consumers want the goods and services mailers offer. They include people who want to save gas and cut pollution by shopping at home, people who want to avoid trips to crowded malls, people who want a large array of product choices, people who live far from shopping areas and people for whom travel is difficult. Mr. Kreiger conveniently suggests that non-profit organizations such as his own should be exempt from the mailing ban he proposes for others. But why should a neighborhood pizzeria be barred from the mailstream? Or a minority business? Or a new company seeking its first customers? Why should Emagazine be prohibited from seeking new subscribers?"
Stamps were originally intended to simply show that the cost of delivering a letter had been paid. "Trailblazers & Trendsetters: Art of the Stamp," an exhibition opening Thursday, Nov. 16 at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum, showcases some of the original art for postage stamps commissioned by the U.S. Postal Service during the last 50 years. The works of art featured in the exhibit are on loan from the U.S. Postal Service. The works of art on display in the exhibit are a sampling of the wide range of events, people and trends that have influenced American culturethe "Trailblazers & Trendsetters" that have earned a place in the nation's history and have been honored on stamps. For more information visit the museum's Web site atwww.postalmuseum.si.edu.
TheAlliance Of Nonprofit Mailers and the National Association Of Presort Mailers have asked the Postal Rate Commission to deny a request by Dr. James Clifton for a protective order concerning GCA Production In Response To ANM/GCA-1 ("Clifton Motion").
Postal News for November 2, 2006
LifestyleExtra has reported that "Trade and Industry secretary Alistair Darling said Nigel Stapleton's appointment as chair of UK postal services regulator Postcomm has been extended for a further four years."
TheInternational Herald Tribune has reported that "Until recently the Italian postal service, Poste Italiane, epitomized all that was awry with the country's public services: bloated payrolls, poor service by rude clerks and a culture that shunned innovation while prizing the status quo regardless of how inept it made the company at delivering mail. Following a six-year modernization push - including building a retail banking operation from scratch - Poste Italiane has reversed five decades of losses. It is on track to report its fifth straight profitable year, recently paid its first dividend and may soon be partially privatized in an initial public offering."
According toEditor & Publisher, "Call it a 21-year delivery experiment that failed: The Sonoma (Calif.) Index-Tribune is returning to the U.S. Postal Service for delivery of the twice-weekly paper. In 1985, the Index-Tribune moved to carrier delivery after decades of relying on mail delivery. But now, I-T Editor and Publisher Bill Lynch said in a recent note to readers, the paper has determined it makes more sense to go back to Post Office."
E-Magazine.com has reported that "The Do Not Call Registry opened in 2003 and has received more than 125 million telephone numbers from people who do not want their contact information sold to telemarketers. Three years later, Americans are still waiting for a simple, companion registry in order to reduce the quantity of unwanted junk mail from direct mailers. © Getty Images Although bills have been introduced in Missouri, Illinois, New York and California, and several other states have expressed interest in introducing similar bills in January, little is happening on a national level. Meanwhile, every four months, an area the size of Rocky Mountain National Park is leveled in order to produce the 100 million trees worth of junk mail that invades the mailboxes of millions of Americans each year. This production and disposal of junk mail consumes more energy than 2.8 million cars and costs citizens and local governments hundreds of millions of dollars per year in collection and disposal fees. [This is nonsense, and horrible, horrible journalism. A little research done at theMail & Jobs could have disabused this writer of his wrongful ways.]
According to theNew York Times, "Ginger Stickel, like most Americans, has been getting a lot more junk mail these days. Wednesday, for example, she received 37 pieces of mail, and 28 were junk, including a pitch for mail-order pizzas and a flier for a warehouse furniture sale. Surprisingly, she says she doesn't mind. "I would rather get a catalogue over a call during dinner 10 times over," Stickel, a mother of two young children in Greenwich, Conn., said. "I always open those letters, and sometimes they're useful." Remember when the Internet and online marketing were going to spell the end of the direct mail business? Well, it hasn't exactly worked out that way."
DM News has reported that:
The Times has reported that "The Government has hired headhunters to find a deputy chairman for Royal Mail, prompting speculation the successful candidate will replace Allan Leighton as chairman when he leaves in March 2008." See also theBelfast Telegraph andThe Independent.
TheAssociated Press has reported that "A senior United Nations official accused of using his influence to steer U.N. contracts worth more than $50 million in exchange for valuable real estate was arrested Wednesday on a bribery charge, prosecutors said. Sanjaya Bahel, of Manhattan, was charged in an indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court. Bahel, chief of the commodity procurement section of the U.N.'s Procurement Division until 2003, is chief of the Commercial Activities Service in the U.N. Postal Administration. The U.N. said he has been suspended without pay since August."
Business Times has reported that "SHARES of Pos Malaysia & Services Holdings Bhd (PSH) rose to a nine-and-a-half-year high yesterday after it proposed to return cash of RM1.50 per share to shareholders."
The Peninsula has reported that "There have been complaints of letters being placed in the wrong boxes at the General Postal Corporation (Q-Post). This has led to headaches as people have not been receiving important mail, especially items like bank statements and bills. A Qatari national said: "I was surprised to find letters not belonging to me in my box on more than one occasion. Worse, the post box numbers were not even close to being similar. Later, I also found that my mail was being placed in the wrong boxes."
TheAirdrie Echo has reported that "Citing safety concerns, Canada Post says it has no choice to but to relocate certain rural mailboxes throughout the countryside that are located in areas that pose a risk to the safety of postal carriers."
TheDunmow Broadcast Recorder has reported that "incensed sub-postmasters in the area are deeply concerned about the future of their businesses. Radwinter Post Office sub-postmaster, Vic Rae, went to London to take part in the march protesting against the possible closure of many rural post offices. Mr Rae said: "I was one of about 2000 postmasters who took part in the protest."
Inside Bay Area has reported that "The Oakland facility and FedEx's global system are gearing up for the company's busiest day in history. That's projected to be Dec. 18, when 9.8 million packages flow through the Memphis, Tenn.-based company's networks and other hubs. That includes 450,000 packages through Oakland, known for handling tons of high-value Silicon Valley components, biotech testing equipment and even a rush of Apple iPods for the holidays last year."
FromBusiness Wire: "Alpine Air Express Inc. announced that its operating subsidiary Alpine Air, a leading provider of regional air cargo transport and logistics services, has renewed its three year contract with the United States Postal Service for routes between Grand Forks and Bismarck, North Dakota."
According toPurchasing.com, "Small parcel shippers will see a dramatic shift in pricing structures in 2007, as UPS institutes its dimensional weight pricing policies for oversized packages on January 1 and other players in the market consider similar moves."
TheWall Street Journal has reported that "China is moving forward with a plan to turn its postal system into a $10 billion standalone company, a change that would spin off one of the last businesses still run directly by the government.." See alsoForbes.
AsCatalog Success has noted, "Ever since the U.S. Postal Service implemented the first of several blockbuster double-digit rate increases back in the late 1980s and early '90s, many catalogers have been readying themselves for subsequent rate hikes with cost-cutting measures. The most prevalent one has been, and continues to be, a reduction in paper weight, as well as trim size.
EarthTimes has reported that "The Oakland project is one of dozens that Chevron Energy Solutions is developing at mail facilities throughout California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii under a multi-year contract with the Postal Service. In Northern California alone, at major postal centers in San Francisco, West Sacramento and other locations, these high-efficiency and alternative power improvements will save the Postal Service more than $2 million per year in energy costs."
Postal News for November 1, 2006
CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Despite a 19% increase in turnover, Poston Norge has suffered a considerable decline in operating result. The post said the decline was caused by the cancellation of government contracts and a decline in turnover in the banking segment.
Italy remains the stronghold for Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE); the Italian franchi- see has brought over 500 shops into the system so far. The number is expected to increase to 525 by the end of the year.
The Swiss trade union Kommunikation refuses to accept redundancies at the post and does not rule out industrial action.
A few weeks into its life, Denmarks free paper "Nyhedsavisen" is being re- jected by more and more people. Media reports state that the Danish consumer orga- nisation has problems meeting demands for stickers with which people ask to be spared from receiving the free paper through their letterbox.
When Massimo Sarmi, CEO of Poste Italiane, publicly advocated the clos- ure of small post offices, he was immediately contradicted by communications minister Paolo Gentiloni. "Poste Italiane has no business closing post offices", the mi- nister told the daily "II Giornale"
In an interview with French daily "Le Monde" (20.10), La Poste chairman Jean- Paul Bailly was optimistic about his company becoming Europes leading postal services provider in the European mail market by 2010.
Turnover up, profit down: the Finnish post showed a 16% increase in turn- over.
"Business is growing and were achieving good results". This relatively low- key comment last week from CEO Erik Olsson of Swedens Posten AB accompanied the presentation of the posts result figures for the first three quarters.
Night shifts at Greater Paris mail sorting centres have been subject to se- lective picketing since 16 October. Temporary staff go on strike for one hour every shift, while regular employees strike every Friday for the entire night shift.
Following reorganisation of its express segment, Deutsche Post AG has now proceeded to change the management structure of the mail segment. In addition to the Germany and International sections, the British subsidiary Williams Lea will also be represented on the board by its present CEO Tim Griffiths. He joins Klaus Knappik (International) and Jurgen Gerdes (Germany) to make up the management team around board member Hans-Dieter Petram.
Higher mail volumes (+0.5%) have rendered Australia Post higher turnover and profit during the financial year 2005/2006.
Mexico's post Sepomex will reach the break-even point within 18 months, communications minister Pedro Cerisola told "La Vanguardia".
German mail delivery staff fear for their jobs. According to trade union ver.di, more than 5,100 full-time positions could be transformed into part-time jobs.
Press reports claim that Spains Correos intends to create around 4,000 new jobs this year.
Singapore Post is still on a success curve after the first half ended in September.
UPS enjoyed a 10.5% turnover growth to 9.19bn euros and an almost 9% increase in net profit to 818m euros during the third quarter of the current finan- cial year. However, the operating profit showed a less favourable trend: a 3.9% increase (1.22bn euros) meant a much slower growth rate for UPS than in past years.
Korea Express, one of the countrys leading CEP and logistics service pro- viders (2003 turnover: 908m euros, net profit: 32.4m euros) is about to be taken over by Kumho Asiana (2005 turnover: 1.33bn euros), media reports claim.
According to a "Japan Today" report (24.10), Japan Post intends to handle refrigerated items in the future. The paper states that the post plans to start transpor- ting frozen goods as part of its regular parcel service this year. Previously, frozen goods were handled within the special Yu-Pack delivery.
Rarely do scholars of postal organizations and systems meet and discuss their ideas and research with scholars of philately. In an attempt to bridge this gap, theNational Postal Museum and the American Philatelic Society will host a national conference to bring together these two research groups. The first Winton M. Blount Symposium on Postal History (.....November 3-4, 2006 Smithsonian National Postal Museum Washington, D.C.) aims to integrate the history of postal operations and philately within the broader context of American history. The Smithsonian National Postal Museum and the American Philatelic Society invite submission of individual papers and panels for the symposium. The opening plenary panel will discuss "What is postal history?" Featured speakers include Richard R. John, professor, University of Illinois at Chicago; John Willis, historian, Canadian Postal Museum; Michael Laurence, executive director, Philatelic Foundation; and Maynard H. Benjamin, president, Envelope Manufacturers Association.
TheWall Street Journal has reported that "R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. said late yesterday it has agreed to acquire Banta Corp., a Menasha, Wis., provider of printing and digital-imaging solutions, in a $1.3 billion deal."
Asia Pulse has reported that "The reform of China's postal system has made a further step forward with the State Council, the country's cabinet, recently endorsing a reform scheme that will separate the government's role."
TheFinancial Times has reported that "Competition in postal services is cutting costs for business customers and improving the service, according to Postcomm, the industry regulator. A survey in August and September found that one in five business users said their costs had fallen, while 38 per cent said the choice of services had improved. One in three said Royal Mail's services had improved in quality since the market was opened fully to competition on January 1."
TheOakland Tribune has noted that "The San Ramon-based energy company today unveils one of the nation's larger solar arrays, a nearly 1-megawatt system atop the U.S. Postal Service's processing plant in West Oakland. The solar array, combined with energy-efficiency improvements made throughout the cavernous sorting plant, will save the agency an easy $1 million a year and cut power purchases from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. by nearly one-third. That's roughly 2.6 million 39-cent stamps."
InfoWorld has reported that "Looking to expand its security appliance offerings, IronPort Systems Inc. plans to acquire PostX Corp., a vendor of e-mail encryption software. IronPort will sell PostX's e-mail encryption software under the PostX Secure Envelope brand."
From the Federal Register:
The U.S. Labor Department'sOccupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the U.S. Postal Service mail processing facility in White River Junction for alleged willful and serious violations of safety and health standards following inspections conducted in response to employee complaints. The facility faces a total of $44,250 in proposed fines.
Transport Intelligence has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and Trailer Fleet Services, a division of GE Equipment Services, have agreed to a new, six-year contract for domestic, over-the-road semi-trailers, used to transport mail between postal distribution centres and local post offices. The agreement includes installation of GE's VeriWise Asset Intelligence system, which tracks and monitors trailer location and condition while in transit, or when parked."
Scripps News has reported that "Shipping giant FedEx Corp. expects customers checking on packages will make almost 6 million tracking requests daily on its Web site in December, a new record."
According to National Academy of Public Administration Fellow Murray Comarow, "If the President and the Congress respected the nature of a government corporation, their positions on postal matters might be different."
The latest Postal ServiceDMM Advisory on the pricing of Priority Mail has been posted on this site.