Postal News from June 2008:
June 6, 2008
Congratulations to Nanci Langley who has been confirmed as the newest member of the Postal Regulatory Commission.
As the Northern Scot noted, "It is ironic that it takes a drastic step like the threat of closure to make many people realise how much a post office means to their lives, and that is what each person in the areas affected should be asking themselves. Would they miss their post office? Would closure leave their community worse off? Would it be a great loss to the elderly and those who might struggle to cover the extra distance to the next post office?"
According to Mobile, "Delegates representing 250,000 UK communications workers will meet in Liverpool this weekend for the annual Communication Workers Union's (CWU) conference. Delegates will discuss and debate a range of issues faced by workers in the UK's telecommunications, postal, logistics and financial services industries d uring the week-long summit."
TheNews.pl has reported that "The director of Polish Post today cut off talks with union leaders over salary negotiations."
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 Brooklyn Paper has reported that "The Postal Service has a simple solution for improving service at its notoriously bad Kensington branch — sending the customers elsewhere."
According to one contributor to the Washington Observer-Reporter, "The recent increase in the cost of a first-class postage stamp from 41 cents to 42 cents was hardly surprising, compared to the increased in the cost of gasoline, food and just about everything else. It could have easily been avoided, however. All the U.S. Postal Service needs to do to drastically cut expenses and the necessity for several future postal-rate increases is one simple thing: Eliminate Saturday delivery."
From the Postal Regulatory Commission:
FederalRegister: The Postal Service is in the process of implementing technological changes to automate delivery sequencing for flat-size mail, through the deployment of the Flats Sequencing System (FSS). FSS will sort flat-size mailpieces into delivery sequence, increasing the efficiency of letter carriers by reducing time in sorting mail, and allowing delivery to begin earlier in the day. Placement of presort bundles on pallets with the address side up is needed to improve efficiencies in today's processing environment and for automated preparation and induction for FSS in the future. The Postal Service is revising the mailing standards requiring mailers to place presort bundles on pallets with the addresses facing up. DATES: Effective Date: September 11, 2008.
The Baltic Course has reported that "Postal and courier services market of Lithuania up 19.6% in 2008."
The Edge Daily has noted that "National postal services provider Pos Malaysia Bhd has been appointed as the agent to disburse the rebates promised by the government to car and motorcycle owners. Malaysians can start claiming the subsidies at all 686 post offices nationwide beginning July 1, where vehicle owners who made the claims personally at post offices will be paid in cash."
The Telegraph has reported that "The Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents postal workers employed by the state-owned operator, will vote at its annual conference next week on whether to sever its affiliation with the Labour Party. If they vote for the move, it would spell the end of a six-figure annual funding source vital to Labour. It would be a big blow to the party, as donations have dwindled significantly since the cash-for-honours scandal and low opinion poll ratings, and it now relies heavily on union support to cover its debts." See also the Financial Times.
Hellmail has reported that "The National Federation of Subpostmasters says it welcomes a report from the Business & Enterprise Committee which acknowledges the threat to the post office network if subpostmasters lose the right to handle state pensions and benefits. The Committee's report on the future of the post office network backs claims by the NFSP that the loss of the Post Office Card Account (POCA) would have a devastating impact."
The Trinidad Express has reported that "mail trickled into post boxes yesterday as post office workers turned out in full force after the Trinidad and Tobago Postal Workers' Union and TTPost came to agreement concerning salary negotiations for the period 2005 to 2007."
Copies of the testimony presented to the Postal Regulatory Commisson at its June 5th field hearing in Minneapolis are available on the PRC web site.
June 5, 2008
The Guardian has reported that "Greece plans to begin the sale of its state-run postal company Hellenic Post (ELTA) this year, ahead of a deregulation of its postal services market."
Press Release: "QuadDirect is investing $25 million to strengthen and expand its direct mail services. QuadDirect, a division of printer Quad/Graphics, brings together, under one roof, response-driven front-end services such as just-in-time marketing strategies and data solutions with the industry's most sophisticated print manufacturing platform and interactive deployment capabilities."
From the U.S. Postal Service: The U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) international mail facility in Chicago has earned its second consecutive Certificate of Excellence award from an international organization dedicated to improving global postal services. The J.T. Weeker International Service Center (ISC) in Chicago has been awarded its second Certificate of Excellence in international mail processing today by the 24-nation member International Post Corporation (IPC).
DMM Advisory: The latest DMM Advisory from the U.S. Postal Service has been posted on this site.
Federal Register: "In this final rule the Postal Service provides new mailing standards to require the use of a concatenated UCC/EAN Code 128 Service barcode with a unique Service Type Code ``55'' on all Priority Mail[supreg] Open and Distribute container address labels. A proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on May 24, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 100), requiring the use of a concatenated UCC/EAN Code 128 Delivery Confirmation\TM\ service barcode. Although no comments were received in response to the proposed rule, because of the modification we decided to publish a second proposed rule. No comments were received in response to the second proposed rule published on April 21, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 77). However, we have extended the effective date from May 12, 2008, to July 1, 2008."
According to the Tenterfield Star, "Mail delivery in Tenterfield has come under fire with local businesses receiving Returned To Sender notices, something that did not occur six months ago. The main issue underlies the way letters are being addressed to other businesses and people in town."
According to Hemscott, Hermes Logistik Group, the postal-services unit of privately held mail-order retailer Otto Group, plans to undercut Deutsche Post AG.'s letter prices by 10 percent to 15 percent should German courts strike down the minimum-wage rule for the industry, Hermes Chief Executive Hanjo Schneider told Die Welt.
Traffic World has reported that "Ohio's state senators and several members of the state's congressional delegation plan to meet with executives from DHL Express and ABX in an effort to get the ailing express carrier to reverse course in its decision to contract air shipments with UPS."
From Business Wire: "Critical Path, Inc. a leading provider of messaging software and services, today announced that PT Pos Indonesia, the state-owned Postal Authority of Indonesia, has deployed Memova Messaging to provide email services to consumers and businesses throughout Indonesia. Aimed at decreasing the digital divide, the new email services can be accessed from any Indonesian post office."
June 4, 2008
According to Butler Mailing Service president Todd Butler, "Postal management also knows that much of the letter mailstream, which is in compliance with DMM specifications, is not compatible with letter processing equipment. Customers, on the other hand, still assume that mail piece designs meeting the DMM physical requirements for automated letters are compatible with mail processing equipment."
WSBT has noted that "A Middlebury letter carrier has been arrested after an investigation found more than 21,000 pieces of undelivered mail in the employee's home, the United States Postal Service reports."
TheNews.PL has reported that "As the strike at the Polish postal service continues in some areas, management and unions threaten law suits against each other."
Forbes has reported that:
CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Schweizerische Post's results for the first quarter 2008 were adversely affected by cost pressure in the logistics segment and proceeds from the sale of real estate that fell behind expectations.
Frank Heemskerk, Dutch junior minister for trade and industry, took the opportunity of a parliamentary debate to defend his position to postpone the opening of the postal market.
In Norway, Posten AS risks losing up to 20% of addressed mail volumes when the postal market is opened.
The French La Poste appears intent on expanding into Switzerland.
The Belgian government is able to visualise La Poste as part of the planned merger between Post Danmark and Posten AB, Sweden.
Poczta Polska is the target of industrial action since this Tuesday.
The British Citipost group has sold its international mail segment to Pitney Bowes International Mail Services. A corresponding announcement published at the end of May stated that Citipost would henceforth be able to focus on end-to-end delivery services in business centres across the globe.
Poste Italiane has completed the restructuring of its top management, leaving behind a downsized board, a new president and chairman and a reappointed CEO. Last Friday Poste Italiane announced that Massimo Sarmi had been confirmed in his role as CEO for the third time running. Market observers find it remarkable that Mr Sarmi obviously enjoys the trust of the new centre-right government as well. Poste Italiane also announced that the number of board members had been cut from 11 to 5.
China Post Group has received official permission to set up an independent life insurance operation
American pilots working for DHL are not happy with restructuring plans put forward by parent company Deutsche Post.
ABX Air is likely to lose a large part of its business following the restructuring of DHL operations in the USA.
Having undergone restructuring last October, Japan Post ended the first half of the current financial year on a net profit of 277.2bn yen.
Deutsche Post is likely to earn 12bn euros from the sale of the Postbank.
An annual questionnaire commissioned by UPS and submitted to 1,200 Asian business firms in 12 markets shows first doubts about exports to the USA. 51% of the interviewees said they would freeze or even reduce their staff numbers this year as a result of the weak US economy, with the most pessimistic views being taken by Japanese firms. On the other hand, more than 50% of the interviewees expect growth in Asian markets and trade with the Middle East and Europe to make up for this weakness.
TNT Express has taken over its long-term co-operation partner in Kenya.
A majority of Purolator Courier employees has voted in favour of accepting the new wage agreement negotiated in April.
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. (We appreciate the courtesy extended by CEP News to help whet your appetite for more of what CEP offers.)
Transport Intelligence has reported that "FedEx has revealed details of a major investment programme in Europe which includes expanding its existing gateway in Paris and adding a further sub-hub in Cologne, Germany."
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended, among other actions, that USPS (1) require managers at other facilities to adopt applicable lessons learned from its New York City recycling pilot and (2) adopt the opportunities identified in this report that are feasible, compatible with USPS' mission, and appropriate in view of cost and other considerations. USPS agreed with three of GAO's recommendations and stated that it is acting to implement them. USPS also agreed, in principle, with the remaining recommendation to adopt lessons learned from its pilot.
Hellmail has reported that "Post Office Ltd have today announced that 38 Post Office branches across Northern Ireland are to close. It follows a six-week public consultation that ended on 12 May 2008. Post Office Ltd say that services will be provided through a network of 496 branches, which supports the national accessibility criteria introduced by the Government and ensures that over 94.1% of the population in Northern Ireland will see no change."
As MyCustomer.com has noted, "International address management can be a confusing field, and particularly for the more sporadic international direct marketers and customer service professionals. Terry Hiles looks at the options available, from on-demand to installed and bureaux."
June 3, 2008
The Dayton Daily News has reported that "Gov. Ted Strickland said he is asking his top legal advisers to investigate whether DHL's proposal to hire the rival United Parcel Service to fly DHL's U.S. cargo would violate U.S. antitrust laws by reducing competition in the express package delivery market.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that "International express-delivery firms are lending their know-how to relief efforts in China and Myanmar, where aid groups face logistical challenges in bringing supplies to victims of the two major disasters. Logistics companies are deploying equipment and staff to fly or truck emergency supplies to stricken areas. Deutsche Post AG's DHL is managing a warehouse for nonfood aid in the Myanmar capital of Yangon on behalf of the U.N. World Food Program, or WFP. FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. have flown supplies into China's earthquake-stricken Sichuan province."
The Morgan Hill Times has a piece on "Going postal over rate hikes."
According to Masthead Online, "The polybag has a lot going for it. It allows magazines to be transported without fear of damage, gives the subscriber an unobstructed view of the cover, acts as a convenient source of revenue, where advertisers' outserts can be neatly tucked, and compared to bulky paper envelopes, it brings down mailing costs substantially. But while it may be a publisher's ally, the polybag has some negative qualities that could make it a target for environmentalists."
As the Washington Post has noted, "The annual food drive of the nation's mail carriers collected a record 73.1 million pounds of donated food this year, union officials said Monday. The National Association of Letter Carriers said the food was delivered to local food banks, pantries and shelters in communities where it was collected."
The Hindu has reported that "China's postal service has suspended mailing of parcels with sealed liquids and powder as part of ramped up security measures for the Beijing Olympics. The new step from June 1 to October 31 was to tighten security ahead of and during the Games in August, a State Post Bureau spokesman said. Chemical products, powder goods, unidentified metal and mechanical and electrical products, sealed containers with unidentified gas or liquid are also banned from delivery, state-run Xinhua news agency said."
The BBC has reported that "Royal Mail is consulting the public on plans to close 40 post offices across south and west Wales and replace a further 19 with an "outreach service"."
The Daily Sun has reported that "The Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) has been ordered to immediately reinstate a chief postal controller, who was unjustly retired by the management of the organization in 2005. The House of Representatives gave the directive after deliberations by its Committee on Public Petition on the matter of unjust retirement of Mr Godwin Okhavhe."
The Trinidad Express has reported that "TTPost workers have been engaged in industrial action for some three months. The action stemmed from a standstill in negotiations for an increase in pay and other benefits." It's reported to have created a mess.
WLWT has reported that "The American Postal Workers Union is organizing opposition to an air freight carrier's plan that could eliminate 6,000 jobs in Wilmington."
From the Postal Regulatory Commission:
From Business Wire:
OhMyGov has noted that "The U.S. Postal Service launched an environmentally conscious website today at www.usps.com/green. The new site offers consumers a chance to purchase eco-friendly shipping products, tips for recycling junk mail, links for removing your name from mailing lists, advice for marketers looking to cut down on mail, and facts about the Postal Service's efforts to limit its environmental footprint."
TheNews.pl has reported that "Executives from Polish Post have failed to come to agreement with trade unions over working conditions at the company. As a result the company has announced that as of tomorrow, the national postal service is to go strike."
Recent APWU testimony on Capitol Hill about the Postal Service's obligation to provide "universal service" to all Americans seems to have stirred up a controversy.
June 2, 2008
UPS Freight, which introduced its on-time performance guarantee in the United States in January, has expanded the guarantee to shipments moving in both directions across the Canada-U.S. border.
Corporate Social Responsibility News has reported that "The International Post Corporation (IPC) has launched an environmental measurement and monitoring system providing a common carbon measurement and reporting framework for the global postal industry. The launch and formal adoption by IPC member postal operators including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK, took place at IPC's Annual Conference 2008 in La Chapelle en Serval, France on 30 May. The event was attended by CEOs from Europe, the Asia-Pacific and North America."
Be sure to check out PostCom's comments to the Postal Service regarding:
For everyone who wondered what all those darn acronyms mean when everyone is talking about barcoding, your ship has just come in. Barcoding Inc. has posted on its site a free access bar code glossary.
According to SNP News, "SNP Postal Services spokesperson, Mike Weir MP, has welcomed the latest report from the Commons Business and Enterprise Select Committee on the future of Post Offices, and pressed for the current review of postal services to take account of the role of the post office network in delivery of the universal service obligation. The Committee has expressed concerns about the future size of the Post Office network and the ambiguity between the position of the UK Government and the Post Office."
The Financial Times has reported that "MPs will on Monday mount a scathing attack on the governance of the state-owned post office network, criticising the "simply unacceptable" lack of financial transparency and the Royal Mail's "unsatisfactory" power over branch closures. The Mps will criticise the power of Royal Mail, the state-owned parent of the post office network, to have the final say on closures. The shape of the network "is a matter of direct political concern" that has social and financial, consequences."
Mad.co.uk has reported that "Royal Mail has asked Postcomm to extend the suspension of the bulk compensation scheme for another year amid fears of further industrial action in the future. The request comes on the back of poor performance figures released last week by Royal Mail. The postal services giant failed to achieve nine of the 12 minimum service targets in its licence, but claims the poor service levels were due to industrial action last summer."
According to Customer Strategy, "One in six first-class letters was not delivered on time last year - the worst annual record by royal Mail for nearly two decades. The performance has - perhaps unsurprisingly - triggered a performance about so-called rewards for service failures as it came in the same financial year that the company's chief executive Adam Crozier pocketed a pay packet in excess of £3million."
Reuters has reported that "Japan's postal services system is looking to switch its entire fleet of about 21,000 short-distance delivery vehicles to zero-emission electric cars starting this business year."
Marketing Daily has reported that "Financial services companies are backing off their seemingly relentless direct mail efforts to acquire new customers, according to two companies tracking the volume of direct mail."
The cost of posting parcels to the UK and abroad will increase under a new pricing scheme being introduced by Isle of Man Post Office next month. Affected services include Parcelforce next day, Parcelforce 48 (over 10kg) and international datapost.
The Telegraph has reported that "Thousands more post offices could shut even after the Government's controversial closure plan is over, potentially halving their total."
As Traffic World has reported, "A Deutsche Post World Net "radical and decisive" plan to keep its beleaguered DHL Express network running in the United States with the help of a competitor promises to reshape the domestic delivery landscape even as DHL tries to rebuild its strategy in the world's largest express market. In a dramatic twist, DPWN announced a working agreement to outsource its air transportation in the United States to UPS in a yet-to-be-completed 10-year contract worth up to $1 billion annually, essentially unraveling a costly effort to go it alone in the United States with a tightly controlled, dedicated air and ground network. Instead, facing billions of dollars already lost and the prospect of more in coming years, DHL will scale back its U.S. infrastructure by about a third and phase out the outsourced air transport it managed through two carriers and seek to turn around a push into the U.S. express market it launched amid huge fanfare five years ago." See also Air Cargo World.
Looking for links to European postal industry stakeholder organizations? Check here.
June 1, 2008
According to the Deccan Herald, "Faced with stiff and growing competition from private courier services, India Post plans to induct four freighter aircraft by the year-end for faster delivery of Speed Post services to major cities across the country."
The Telegraph has reported that "Royal Mail will face the anger of Mps this week with the publication of a report accusing it of secrecy and a lack of consultation over post office closures. The all-party business and enterprise committee is expected to warn that the closure programme will result in many more branches being axed. Critics have complained that many of the post offices being shut are profitable. Mps are also expected to criticise the Government over its failure to guarantee the future of surviving branches."
Financial Advice has reported that "Even though the Royal Mail has been under extreme pressure for a number of years it seems that the expected end to post office closures may be delayed. A report from an influential committee of Mps will this week confirm that the management of Royal Mail were not able to give a guarantee that the number of post offices in the network would stay above 11,500. The company recent announced the planned closure of a further 2,500 post offices taking the limit down to the government declared minimum of 11,500. The committee of Mps are seriously thinking of reporting the company to the regulator Postcomm to try to resolve the issue as quickly as possible."