Postal News from October 2008:
October 31, 2008
According to Hellmail, "Correos, the Spanish postal operator has given a new boost to internal promotion and transfers with the incorporation, from the 1st of November, of 981 Group leaders, reinforcing the organisational structure of its Division of Offices, and extends the options of professional promotion for its employees. Correos has worked hard in more recent years by ensuring that the management of Human Resources is more decentralized, agile and dynamic, improving the rights and working conditions of its workers and in the process, to increase the quality of the postal service for Spanish citizens."
The Environmental Protection Agency admitted 12 Northeast Area facilities to its prestigious National Environmental Performance Track program in 2008. Six New York facilities join two each from Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. USPS leads the nation with 37 Performance Track facilities.
The Supply Chain Digest has noted that "Just about everyone who ships anything is facing higher and higher shipping cost. For some they have about doubled in recent months. Escalating fuel cost is a contributing factor that is expected to continue well into the foreseeable future. With no relief in sight, and no way to pass the increases on to customers, shippers are looking for ways to get some control over this rising cost dilemma."
According to the Sun Sentinel, "Postal workers are demanding that the Broward County Republican Party back off allegations made earlier this week that voters should not trust the Post Office to mail back their absentee ballots."
The Federal Times has reported that "Up to 250 employees at U.S. Postal Service headquarters and related positions could lose their jobs under a reduction in force, the agency announced last week. The agency seeks staffing cuts to counter rising deficits and declining mail volume. It projects mail volume will drop 9 billion pieces this year — more than the decline of the past seven years combined. The year-end deficit is projected at $2.3 billion."
The Postal Service's PCC weblog has
published a good information piece on the USPS' implementation of the
intelligent mail barcode (IMb).
The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
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 Downtown Express has reported that "the two-dozen seniors who gathered at The Hallmark in Battery Park City last Thursday were not an easy crowd to handle. The topic of the meeting was the mobile post office that used to make a weekly stop at The Hallmark senior living center, until the U.S. Postal Service discontinued it several months ago."
The President of the National League of Postmasters has told his members that "While the management associations are committed to helping the Postal Service find its way out of the predicament in which it finds itself, taking a pay raise away from Postmasters and supervisors is not the right thing to do. It is the position of Naps, Napus, and the League that the U.S. Code prevents the Postal Service from unilaterally opening pay consultations, and we have informed Postal Headquarters of our opinion. I absolutely don't foresee Postmasters and supervisors giving up their raises."
Japan Corporate News has reported that "Japan's All Nippon Airways plans to team up with United Parcel Service of America Inc. in air cargo operations as early as spring 2009, company officials said Thursday. The two companies will take such measures as code sharing to boost their transport capacity and increase operational efficiency. They are discussing utilizing empty space of each company's cargo jets and passenger aircraft's cargo compartments, so that ANA can transport cargoes to Asian destinations on behalf of UPS and the U.S. firm can handle cargoes to Europe and the United States for ANA, the officials said."
From PR Newswire: "As shoppers gear up for this holiday season one thing is for certain: No one wants to dish out more cash to ship gifts to family and friends. In a recent study, Consumer Reports found that although all three shippers delivered next-day as promised, the U.S. Postal Service prices were as much as 281 percent cheaper than FedEx and UPS. Consumer Reports sent three packages, one from each shipper, for next-day delivery from Yonkers, NY to 16 recipients in 12 states using the U.S Postal Service, FedEx and UPS. Every package contained a paperback book and was shipped in a bag, box, or envelope based on the shipper's recommendation. In our test, the Postal Service was the least expensive by far for local and long-distance deliveries and charged a flat rate of $16.50 for the letter-size envelope provided. The other shippers base prices on weight and the distance traveled, so UPS charged $62.87 for next-day delivery to Oregon and $29.55 to Manhattan. FedEx charged $54.57 and $27.48, respectively."
The October 30, 2008 issue of the National Association of Postal Supervisors Legislative and Regulatory Update has been posted on this site.
Market Watch has reported that "Canada Post was disappointed today when the Union of Postal Communications employees (UPCE) rejected the company's latest global offer. The 2,100 UPCE-represented employees are predominantly administrative and technical workers and do not handle the mail. Canada Post tabled an offer to the UPCE late last week that included significant changes to address many of the concerns expressed by union. Despite an earlier indication from the union that they would present management with a counter-offer, they instead decided to walk away from the table."
October 30, 2008
Worldradio.ch has noted that "Swiss Post handles about 15 million letters a day. As part of a major reorganisation, the post office has closed 18 sorting offices dotted around the country and built three giant sorting offices in eastern, central and western Switzerland."
From Business Wire: "As consumers become increasingly aware of the importance of protecting the planet, widespread misunderstanding of the environmental impact of mail may potentially harm communities, businesses and charities that depend on this vital communications channel. In response, "Integrating Sustainability and Environment in the Mailing Industry," a World Environment Center Roundtable hosted today at the National Press Club by Pitney Bowes Inc. aimed to stimulate discussion among mailers, environmental groups and the U.S. Postal Service on prioritizing key environmental initiatives to further the industry's goal of sustainable mail. In his remarks, Pitney Bowes Executive Chairman Michael Critelli noted the importance of awareness, innovation and collaboration in the creation of solutions that meet the environmental challenges of the mailing industry."
According to The Vanguard, "For the past couple of weeks, I have been testing out both Blockbuster Online and Netflix, two companies which offer DVDs by mail to customers nationwide. Both companies mail your DVDs through the US Postal Service and give you a prepaid, preaddressed envelope to return the DVD in, and both companies offer similar methods of adding DVDs to your "queue" through their website."
From Canada NewsWire: "Canada Post management is bringing a group of its employees to the brink of a strike by trying to impose a new Short-term Disability System that was clearly rejected by almost 9 out of 10 of those employees. The workers are represented by the Union of Postal Communications Employees (UPCE), a component of the 160,000 member Public Service Alliance of Canada."
The Guardian has reported that "The US credit card company American Express is shedding 7,000 jobs as it grapples with a surge in bad debts among customers who are feeling the pinch from the global economic slowdown. In a sign that the credit crunch has reached even AmEx's relatively affluent cardholders, the company is embarking on a wide range of cuts – including reducing its workforce by 10% – intended to produce savings of $1.8bn annually. Credit card rewards programmes have become less generous and even credit card junk mail has become less prevalent - the US Postal Service recently said it expected to deliver 9bn fewer items this year, largely due to fewer mailshots from financial institutions and the housing industry."
BtoB has reported that "The Direct Marketing Association is linking up with the China Direct Mail Association to promote global business development using direct mail. The two groups will share information, statistics and trend forecasts on direct mail, and consult with each other on cross-membership opportunities, guidelines and ethical codes, best practices, consumer and economic research, and strategies for interacting with policymakers. The China Direct Mail Association is owned by the China Post, the country's postal service."
The Business Standard has reported that "In less than 15 days the Department of Posts has earned over Rs 2.5 crore from the sale of gold coins from its post offices across five states. An official in the Department of Posts said, "There has been sale of about 20 kg of gold coins in the past 15 days resulting in revenues of about Rs 2.6 crore for the department."
Research and Markets has published a new Market Assessment report that examines the British postal market as it stands, as well as looking at how the mail markets operate on an international level, and suggesting how the market will develop in the future. Extensive research has been conducted using information from the regulatory body Postcomm, as well as individual companies and European and international information sources.
IranVNC has reported that "Iran's government today charged the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology with forming a government-run postal organization, which will take over some of the services offered by the existing state-controlled Iran Postal Service Company. The official IRNA news agency reports that according to the government's newly ratified law, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is required to institute an "Organization of Nationalized Postal Services." Under the plan, "the main job of sorting, exchanges, communication and management of the distribution" of the current company will be taken over by the new postal organization and will remain in government control while the remainder of the activities of the postal service will be privatized. "
John F. Hegarty, National President of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, has told his members that "we are pleased to enclose a copy of an October 24, 2008 letter that sets forth the Postal Service's determination of craft jurisdiction for employees working on the Flat Sequencing System (FSS)."
The U.S. Postal Service today offers new domestic and international postal money orders with enhanced security measures aimed at further deterring fraud. The redesigned money orders, available in most Post Offices nationwide, offer several additional security measures, including a watermark and a new security thread. When the money order is held up to a light, repeating images of former Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin can be seen, making it easier for banks and Post Offices to detect counterfeits. A new holographic, multi-colored security thread also now weaves in and out of the paper to thwart scam artists attempting to produce fake money orders.
From PR-Inside: "Express Benchmarking 2009 - a new market research report on http://www.companiesandmarkets.com.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that "China is moving forward with new legislation that foreign companies fear will undermine their ability to compete in the nation's rapidly expanding market for delivering documents and packages. Work on updating the law governing postal services has dragged on for several years, amid a restructuring of the national post office and disputes with foreign express-delivery companies like DHL Worldwide Express Inc., FedEx Corp., TNT NV and United Parcel Service Inc. Now the pace appears to be picking up, as China's government has given preliminary approval to a revised Postal Law, and published the draft for public comments. Foreign businesses are particularly concerned about a provision in the latest draft that states, "Foreign companies may not invest in the domestic letter delivery business." China's legislature is accepting comments on the law until Nov. 30, so some changes are still possible."
The Commercial Appeal has reported that "Just in time for those holiday packages from Swiss Colony and Eddie Bauer, FedEx has opened a SmartPost hub in Southaven. Three weeks after it opened Oct. 5, the hub is ramping up for peak season with 120 workers cranking out 30,000 packages a day, primarily e-commerce and catalog orders. FedEx SmartPost is a low-cost option for business-to-consumer shipping that combines the efficiency and tracking features of FedEx Ground with the old-fashioned, door-to-door delivery prowess of the post office."
From PR Newswire: "The global economic downturn is creating significant business challenges that are expected to extend well into next year. Companies can implement strategies to meet these challenges and even gain a competitive edge in the eventual recovery. Outsourcing is one such strategy, according to experts, which is likely to increase in 2009. Oce Business Services is highlighting specific document management processes - whether outsourced or managed internally - that can help organizations lower costs and streamline operations during a downturn."
The Evening Post has noted that "post offices are seen as an integral part of our social network. But their very existence is under threat. The National Federation of Sub-postmasters has warned that 40 post offices could go in the Swansea area and a further 30 in Neath Port Talbot and 30 in Carmarthenshire. Nationwide, it is feared that another 3,000 post offices could be forced to shut up shop. The threatened closures would come after the current 2,500 closures nationally. So how have things come to this?"
The Associated Press has reported that "Home entertainment trendsetters Netflix Inc. and TiVo Inc. are finally joining forces to deliver more movies and old TV episodes to their mutual subscribers, consummating a relationship that was supposed to come together four years ago....The growing selection of streaming devices could help boost Netflix's profits by causing subscribers to request fewer DVDs. Each DVD rental makes a round trip through the postal service that costs Netflix 84 cents, so fewer requests will lower expenses _ just as management is striving to save money to offset slowing revenue growth." See also the Journal Gazette.
The Washington Post has noted that "With the U.S. Postal Service projecting that it delivered 9 billion fewer pieces of mail in fiscal year 2008 and a $2.3 billion deficit for that period, mail carriers might have more to worry about than snarling dogs on their routes. William Burrus, president of the American Postal Workers Union, has warned, as the Federal Diary reported Tuesday, that things are so bad that 'without significant adjustment to its business strategies, the Postal Service will not survive as a government institution and a public service.' Postmaster General John E. Potter strongly disagrees." [Read more.]
Here's a thought. With St. Gabriel being the patron of communication and postal workers, you just have to know that PostCom members are on the side of the angels.
Θ: TNT is today opening its first CO2 emission-free depot in Veenendaal, the Netherlands. The official opening is to be attended by Harry Koorstra, member of TNT's Board of Management and Group Managing Director Mail The depot is the first in a series of "green" buildings to be used by TNT as part of its worldwide environmental programme, Planet Me. The global mail and express delivery company aims to cut the CO2 emissions of all of its buildings, totalling three million square metres of real estate in over sixty-five countries.
As Traffic World has noted, "As airlines, forwarders and especially shippers have learned, security is a touchy subject. TSA faces challenging deadlines for broadening its inspection of cargo bound for the bellies of passenger aircraft. Federal law requires that TSA inspect at least 50 percent of all cargo on U.S. passenger flights by February 2009 and 100 percent by August 2010. But there remains sharp disagreement on the law and what TSA and the cargo business must do to meet those deadlines."
As the New York Times has noted, "After a century of continuous publication, The Christian Science Monitor will abandon its weekday print edition and appear online only, its publisher announced Tuesday. The cost-cutting measure makes The Monitor the first national newspaper to largely give up on print." [EdNote: In recent years, the Monitor relied largely on the Postal Service for its printed edition distribution.]
Reuters has reported that "The potentially lucrative business of cellphone wallets is waiting for banks and telecom operators to agree on each one's role and possible revenue flow in the future. Technology for paying with cellphones by just flashing them near reading equipment in stores or in public transport is ready, and consumers have appreciated the ease of its use in trials around the world. The world's biggest payment card company, Mastercard, will unveil on Thursday a service for banks, enabling them to install payment cards into clients cellphones much easier than earlier, possibly breaking the deadlock over the market takeoff."
The Register has reported that "Delivery company DHL is halving the number of IT staff it employs and despatching the jobs to Prague in the Czech Republic. DHL IT Services will cut 400 jobs across Europe and the UK. But at the same time it will add 200 people to its service centre in Prague. DHL opened its Czech data centre in 2003 and was mulling a full move of IT functions as long ago as 2004."
Computing.co.uk has reported that "International logistics company DHL is hoping to cut its carbon footprint by offering customers an e-billing service. DHL plans to eliminate more than a third of the 18 million paper invoices it sends to European customers every year by 2010. The firm will do this by offering customers an e-billing option, whereby users login to an online portal to view and receive information about their invoices. As a result, the courier expects to save the equivalent of 2,400 trees and 600 tonnes of C02 a year."
Bloomberg has reported that "All Nippon Airways Co. and United Parcel Service Inc. agreed to handle each other's international shipments to help better position each company economically, Nikkei English News reported, without citing anyone. The agreement will help the firms focus on major markets, cut back cargo flights and increase usage rates for their aircraft, the news service said. UPS is also looking to increase orders from Japanese automakers and electronics producers. All Nippon is expected to handle UPS shipments en route for China, South Korea and Thailand, Nikkei said. UPS will represent its partner on U.S., European and Philippine routes."
October 29, 2008Θ: According to a study just released by the U.S. Postal Service, the carbon footprint of mail is practically the same as the carbon footprint produced by a household electric coffee maker. In other words, mail does not have a major negative environmental impact. [EdNote: For more information, contact Joanne Veto (202-268-3118) at the U.S.Postal Service. Also posted on this web site is a PostCom report of the USPS' findings as it will be published in the next PostCom Bulletin.] A copy of the full report is available on this site.
Multichannel Merchant has reported that "Although the 2006 Postal Reform law restored a semblance of normalcy to annual postal rate increases, many catalogers are wondering what they can expect in terms of a rate hike in May 2009. Dan G. Blair, chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission, offers his educated prognostication: "It appears that the average increase for each class of mail will be approximately 5%. The actual rate cap will depend upon the behavior of the monthly CPI (Consumer Price Index) between now and December."
The Birmingham Post has reported that "Post Office bosses were accused of "running their own business down" after announcing 67 more branch closures in the West Midlands. They published the results of a consultation into the future of postal services in the Black Country, Worcestershire and Herefordshire - and announced that only one branch had been saved as a result of opposition from the public and politicians to closures. It is the second time Post Office Ltd has held a major consultation on closures which resulted in only one branch staying open."
Logistics Manager has reported that "Norway's main postal operator Norway Post has kick-started plans to expand its logistics operations by implementing a Transport Management System from RedPrairie. The E2eTM system will replace the company's custom legacy applications and will centralise transport planning and management to help improve carrier management. The system is designed to automate transport operations and improve visibility of order fulfilment in real-time, while connecting multiple parties and business processes throughout the broader supply chain."
Federal Register: The Postal Regulatory Commission is noticing a recently-filed Postal. Service Parcel Return Service Contract 1 negotiated service agreement. This action is consistent with changes in a recent law governing postal operations. DATES: 1. Postal Service answers due on or before October 27, 2008. 2. Public comments due on October 29, 2008.
CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Publicly traded CEP companies have had to cope with some horrendous losses in value as a result of the turbulences on the worldwide financial markets.
Increasing turnovers and - no surprise - a declining profit have shaped Posten AB's business in the first nine months of the current year.
The Swiss Federal Council last week decided on amulti-stage opening of the postal market. As of 1 July 2009, the current letter monopoly of 100 grams will initially be lowered to 50 grams. In a second move, the Postal Law is expected to be revised in 2011 or 2012 and the mail market completely opened up with a separate federal ruling.
The business trend of the Finnish post Itella has been characterised by turnover growths and a declining profit in the first nine months.
Post Danmark, in contrast, has achieved growth in all key operating figures in the first three quarters.
In view of future competition, Anton Wais, CEO of Österreichische Post, has called for a new Postal Act. The post should not have to deliver to the remotest mountain valleys while the competition pinches the lucrative metropolitan areas, he told the »Wirtschaftsblatt« (20.10). This latest demand was evidently Wais's reaction to efforts by France's La Poste to deliver mail in Austria from 2011.
The German parcel service Hermes continues to pursue plans for an entry into the mail market.
With a pre-tax profit amounting to 592.2m Australian dollars (289m euros), Australia Post has achieved a record result for the financial year 2007/2008.
The 11th National People's Congress in China is currently verifying and discussing the current draft of the Postal Act.
The Swedish Posten AB has announced price increases in the mail sector. The postage rates for 1st class letters, which have remained unchanged since 2003, will be increased by 5 eurocents to 60 cents from 1 January 2009.
Taiwan and China are apparently on the verge of launching a direct postal exchange.
New York is a pricey place for FedEx. In the financial year that ended on 31 May, the integrator paid the US metropolis 10.7m dollars - equivalent to 8.65m euros - in parking fees and tickets.
Purolator, the biggest express service provider in Canada, plans to increase its prices by an average of 7.9 per cent in the coming year. At the same time the fuel surcharge will be reduced by 5 per cent. The subsidiary company of Canada Post announced that the new list prices would come into effect on 5 January.
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.)
MarketingWeek has reported that "Royal Mail has undertaken a major restructure of its commercial and marketing departments as part of an effort to take a more "customer-led" approach."
The Wall Street Journal has reported that "If you want to be absolutely, positively sure your luggage arrives at its destination, United Airlines has a new option for you: FedEx. The nation's second-largest airline by traffic plans Wednesday to launch a next-day luggage service designed to raise fresh revenue while giving passengers a more reliable way to ship stuff without schlepping it through an airport. It won't come cheap. FedEx will move the goods -- while United handles customer service -- for $149 one-way for a suitcase or other item of up to 50 pounds carried less than 1,000 miles. It'll cost $179 for the same piece transported more than 1,000 miles. Delivery by 4:30 p.m. the next day is guaranteed. "
As the New York Times put it, "After years of flooding Americans with credit card offers and sky-high credit lines, lenders are sharply curtailing both, just as an eroding economy squeezes consumers. And lenders, over all, are slowing the flood of mail offers to a trickle with moves that would translate for the average American household into about 13 fewer pieces of credit card junk mail a year than its peak in 2005. Mail offers to new and existing customers are on pace to drop below 8.4 billion pieces, the lowest level since 2004, according to Mintel Comperemedia, a direct marketing research firm."
TMCNet has reported that "On 24 October 2008 Uzbekiston Pochtasi (Uzbekistan Post) OJSC conducted a national scientific-practical seminar on the "organisation and development of financial services in postal sphere using information and communication technology" The seminar plays an important role in terms of the reflection on the achievements of postal service companies in the development of financial services using information and communication technology, and sharing experience. During the opening of the seminar the need was pointed out for wide use of the equipment that helps raise the sale, modernize and automate production processes, equipment that allows to raise the quality of the services provided and the efficiency of staff performance. Participants emphasized the need to intensify the efforts on integration of modern postal services."
The Jersey Journal has reported that "Hudson County politicians joined postal union leaders Monday to protest plans by the United States Postal Service to privatize bulk mail centers across the country, which they fear could cost jobs at the nation's largest center in Jersey City."
From Business Wire: "As part of a public-private partnership to increase the commercial availability and use of alternative fuel vehicles, UPS has announced its first purchases of a little-known technology - the hydraulic hybrid vehicle -- that promises dramatic fuel savings and environmental benefits."
The Federal Times has reported that "Postmasters across the country are facing the fallout from tight budgets and hiring freezes. Charles Mapa, who heads an association of postmasters, said many postmasters are short of employees and haven't been able to hire new mail handlers, letter carriers and other employees."
From PR Log: "Canada Post will increase rates for some small parcels by 108% in January 2009. Gail Bebee, president of the Ganneth Company, publisher of No Hype – The Straight Goods on Investing Your Money says, "We currently pay $2.65 to ship one of our books to a Canadian customer. In January the cost will more than double to $5.50. This huge cost increase will severely impact our bottom line." Small businesses depend on Canada Post to deliver their products to customers at a competitive cost. Bebee continues, "Heading into tougher economic times, these postal rate increases could be the kiss of death for a significant number of small businesses."
From the Washington Biz Blog:
"Financial Crisis Hits Junk Mail... ...and apparently that's not a good thing for the U.S. Postal Service. In his Federal Diary column, Joe Davidson reports that U.S. postal officials expect the service to lose $2.3 billion in fiscal 2008. One reason: Fewer credit card companies and mortgage firms are sending out mailings. "A lot of advertising mail volume is from financial institutions and the housing industry," USPS spokesman Gerald McKiernan told Davidson.
"The dire financial situation prompted William Burrus, president of the American Postal Workers Union, to warn that the Postal Service itself is in danger of dying. In an open letter to Postmaster General John Potter, Burrus wrote that a "half-century of service qualifies me as a knowledgeable observer of our revered institution. Throughout these many years, I have never seen the level of uncertainty now confronting us. Without significant adjustment to its business strategies, the Postal Service will not survive as a government institution and a public service."
The Wilmington News Journal has reported that "The Air Line Pilots Association Int'l (ALPA) has called on Congress to hold new hearings and further investigate the proposed DHL-UPS deal in light of UPS' attempt on its corporate Web site to lure DHL customers."
The Sacramento Business Journal has reported that "The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. today issued an alert to banks, credit unions and brokerages regarding threatening letters. "The FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and state and local authorities are investigating more than 30 threatening letters that have been received by financial institutions in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington, D.C. Most of these letters contain a powder substance with a threatening communication. At this point, field and laboratory tests on the powder have been negative."
The October 28, 2008 issue of the National Association of Postal Supervisors Legislative and Regulatory Update has been posted on this site.
According to Dead Tree Edition:
October 28, 2008
NEXT NATIONAL POSTAL FORUM: May 17-20, 2009 - Washington, DC 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."
The following reports have been posted on the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General website (http://www.uspsoig.gov/) today. If you have additional questions concerning the report, please contact Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.
Notice: The United States Postal Service (USPS) handles over 9.7 billion pieces of UNDELIVERABLE AS ADDRESSED (UAA) mail every year at a cost of more than $1.8 billion. The majority of this mail (6.1 billon pieces) ends up being destroyed/recycled. In an effort to reduce UAA mail, the USPS will require that the addresses included in any Standard mailing mail deposited after November 23, 2008 to have been put through an approved MOVE UPDATE process no more than 95 days prior to the mail date. This requirement has been in effect for First-Class mail for several years. It's now being applied to Standard mail which accounts for over 60% of all UAA.
American Printer has reported that "Pitney Bowes Inc. (Stamford, CT) is encouraging mailers to take action now to prepare for new and tighter rules from the U.S. Postal Service that mandate how frequently mailers update their mailing lists. The company is providing information to assist mailers in adapting to the new rules, known as the Move Update Standard, which goes into effect November 23. It requires all commercial First-Class and Standard Mail mailers to update their customer data within 95 days prior to the date of the mailing, down from 185 days under the current rules, to continue to qualify for certain postal discounts. Specifically, mailers will be required to use a USPS-approved solution to match address records with customer-filed change-of address (COA) orders received and maintained by the Postal Service."
Mmegi Online has published an open letter to the head of BotswanaPost.
Logistics Management has reported that "When DHL and drugstore chain Walgreens announced in January they had entered into a strategic agreement, the stated goal was to more than double the number of Walgreens retail locations offering DHL Express shipping services to more than 6,500 locations by the end of this year, with more than 1,600 of those locations open 24 hours a day. But fast forward a little more than nine months later, and it appears this alliance may be a thing of the past as soon as this Friday, October 31, according to an industry source."
SOA World has reported that "showing incredible foresight and leadership, Swiss Post is going to pilot Earth Class Mail's online postal mail service, starting in five Western European countries - Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy and Austria."
USPS Press Release: "Read, Respond, Recycle" is the banner the Postal Service will use to reach out to postal customers with a convenient, environmentally responsible alternative to bringing home or discarding their mail. The Post Office Box Lobby Recycling program, which launches today at a ceremony in Chicago, is based on programs that have been going on in the Northeastern U.S. for more than 10 years. Secure recycling bins will be placed in participating Post Offices. All bins are locked and the opening is slim — about the width of a news magazine. PO Box customers are encouraged to remove and open their mail (read), take whatever action is necessary (respond) and place the rest of their mail into the bin (recycle). PMG Jack Potter will attend the Chicago event with U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia. The Chicago launch adds 279 new Post Offices to the more than 3,800 existing sites."
Transport Intelligence has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net (DPWN) has become the latest major company to see its share price savaged by the current global economic crisis. The German Stock Market reacted strongly to a revised profit guidance statement published yesterday (October 27) and cut the German global logistics, express and mail group's capitalisation figure by 20%."
AME Info has reported that "postal heads from Arab countries meeting in Qatar for the 21st postal high committee meeting gave the green signal for the implementation of Gulf Express, an improved express mail service for GCC countries."
According to the Sierra Sun, "The U.S. Postal Service is still investigating what happened to the Truckee mail that went missing Sept. 22. The still unknown quantity of mail left Truckee and was on its way for the Reno mail distribution center. The Postal Inspection Service is investigating the loss."
As WhatTheyThink has noted, "In light of today's uncertain marketplace and extreme budgetary pressures, forward-thinking graphic communications owners are taking proactive measures to streamline their business environments, achieve higher efficiencies and better returns, and weather the current market conditions. The organizations that gain a competitive advantage will survive and thrive. The watchword at this year's Graph Expo event is EFFICIENCY."
The Financial Times has reported that:
According to Employee Benefits, "Pension schemes at Royal Mail and the BBC are among the latest to have been hit by turbulent market conditions in the last few months. Royal Mail's pension accounting deficit has increased by more than £1bn from £2.9bn to £4bn since March as a result of heavy falls in the stock market. And the actuarial deficit, due to be revalued next year, is also expected to increase from its previous level of £3.4bn in March 2006. Royal Mail's half-year trading statement read: "The urgent need to tackle this challenge is underlined by the continuing burden of the heavy cash contributions the company is required to pay towards the deficit and servicing the pension plan."
As the Washington Post has noted, "Things are looking bleak for the U.S. Postal Service. It projects that it will deliver 9 billion -- that's with a "b" -- fewer pieces of mail in fiscal year 2008 than it did the year before. That drop is about 10 times greater than the 902 million decline in deliveries between 2006 and 2007. This drastic plunge can be traced to the surge in e-mail, the nation's general economic malaise and the Wall Street meltdown. "A lot of advertising mail volume is from financial institutions and the housing industry," said Gerald McKiernan, a USPS spokesman."That accounts for a lot of that loss." Postal officials expect the service to lose $2.3 billion in fiscal year 2008. The loss would be more than twice the $5.14 billion it lost in 2007, which was the first year USPS was required to make a payment into the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund."
KSLA has reported that the "Postal Service looks to cut 40,000 jobs in first layoff in history."
October 27, 2008
Gawker.com has reported that " Though they may lavish Wall Street Journal reporters with leaks and other scoops, American corporate executives tend to keep their names out of the newspaper's editorial pages. Overt support for the opinion section's relentlessly right-wing politics carries too much risk of customer blowback. But FedEx founder and CEO Fred Smith will tolerate no such sissiness. A former George W. Bush fraternity brother, Smith was named as a possible Bush defense secretary and has become involved with John McCain's presidential run. Fair enough. But Smith has to figure many customers might take it personally when tells the Journal opinion section "a majority of the population" is unproductive and greedy."
Mailers Council Executive Director Robert McLean has reported that:
"Information has been leaked to several websites indicating that earlier this month USPS senior executives have been told they will not receive their pay raises this year because of the deteriorating postal financial situation and that USPS Labor Relations officials asked postal supervisors and managers to consider similar concessions.
"The Postmaster General is on record saying he would need the help of the employee organizations in working with the Congress as the Postal Service attempts to develop solutions to its fiscal problems. That support might never materialize from the management associations if the Postal Service pursues any change to the existing “consultative” (meaning pay) agreement, as appears to have been the case this month. Postal officials asked the management associations to take the extraordinary step of reopening the existing consultative agreement, which was signed in 2007 and runs through FY 2010, with the intention of seeking new pay concessions. Such a move could generate a lawsuit from the management associations."
CNN has reported that "A jury has found U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska (long known for his interest in postal policy) guilty on all seven counts of making false statements on Senate disclosure forms. Stevens, 84, is the longest-serving Republican senator in history." See also USA Today and the Washington Post.
The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "They raise money through text messages and release videos directly to the Internet, but Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain are relying on the old-fashioned U.S. Postal Service to deliver that staple of a presidential campaign's final days: the attack ad. During the past month, the two presidential campaigns and their allies have bombarded voters in swing states with one contemptuous brochure after the next. A review of direct-mail advertisements sent on behalf of Obama or McCain documents a below-the-radar battle in which the public message of the candidates becomes something more spiteful, more exaggerated and often more ominous."
Advertising Age has reported that "The decline in newspapers' paid circulation is accelerating, according to new statistics today from the Audit Bureau of Circulations."
The Wetaskiwin Times Advertiser has reported that "There is no need to ho-ho-hold back going to your local Canada Post outlet to ship off presents and gifts this Christmas season.A potential national strike, in which a section of employees have voted 88% in favour of walking off the job, will have no effect on the delivery of mail during the Christmas season, said a Canada Post spokesman. The earliest employees could be off the job is Nov. 9 with the key areas of concern including wages and job security."
Welt Online has reported that "Pitney Bowes Management Services, Inc. (PBMS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Pitney Bowes Inc., announced its intent to work together with Microsoft Corp. on exploring the business opportunity for making Pitney Bowes’ dMail™ digital mail service available in Azure™ Services Platform. The Pitney Bowes’ dMail™ offering is a solution based on Microsoft technology for digitizing inbound business correspondence and inter-office mail. With the Azure Services Platform, the dMail™ solution will be easier to deploy because the cloud platform provides a virtual, secure and scalable infrastructure to host it."
As part of a public-private partnership to increase the commercial availability and use of alternative fuel vehicles, UPS has announced its first purchases of a little-known technology - the hydraulic hybrid vehicle - that promises dramatic fuel savings and environmental benefits.
Supply Chain Market has reported that "Schneider National, Inc., a premier provider of transportation, logistics and intermodal services, is honored to announce it has been named Carrier of the Year by FedEx Ground, a division of the world's largest express transportation company, FedEx. FedEx Ground specializes in business-to-business and residential small package delivery. Additionally, Schneider National's flawless record for on-time delivery during the 2007 fiscal year has been recognized with the FedEx Smart Post 100 Percent Service Award. This line of the FedEx business offers delivery service for companies looking to distribute high volumes of materials to consumers."
PR-inside has reported that "Postal company TNT NV reported a 29-percent fall in third-quarter earnings Monday, as customers chose cheaper mailing and express delivery options in the face of economic uncertainty."
The Jersey City Journal has reported that "several Hudson County politicians plan to join postal union leaders today to protest plans by the United States Postal Service to privatize bulk mail centers across the country, which could eventually include one of the nation's largest in Jersey City."
The Wall Street Journal has reported that "The latest forecast for a gloomy and highly promotional holiday season comes from retailers themselves. Chief marketing officers at 100 retail companies said in a survey by BDO Seidman LLP that they expect their companies' same-store sales in November and December to fall an average of 2.7% from year-ago levels. In the survey, which BDO Seidman plans to release Monday, 88% of the executives also said they plan to offer more discounts and promotions than last year."
Hellmail has reported that "Norway Post reports an increase in operating revenue, despite the volume of letters falling by 0.7 per cent compared to the same period last year. The volume of unaddressed mail advertising fell by 1.2 per cent during the first three quarters of this year." See also Norway Post's press release.
NBC6.net has reported that "the number of packages sent by U.S. mail from South Florida to Cuba is at its greatest volume since President George W. Bush prohibited the shipment of nonessential items to the island nation four years ago. Shipments have increased despite limitations imposed by Washington in 2004. A Postal Service spokeswoman said the post office shipped approximately 34,000 Cuba-bound packages from South Florida between December 2006 and the middle of last year. That number increased to nearly 111,000 from December to June."
The Herald has reported that "Up to 3000 post offices could be forced to close if Royal Mail loses a £1bn contract to run the Post Office card account, it was warned yesterday."
The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Companies exploiting a postal discount offered to disability support groups have ripped off the nation's postal service system by at least 600 million yen. Printing companies Wellco Corp. and AD. Printing Co. helped orchestrate the scheme, under which companies illegally sent advertising material using a discount system intended to help groups that support the disabled send newsletters to members, sources said."
According to Hellmail, "German postal operators Deutsche Post has had a minor victory at the German Federal Court of Justice after it finally managed to establish the word "Post" as it's own unique trademark. The new ruling by the Federal Court prevents competitors from using the word "Post" with other distinctive elements such as the color yellow or the post horn symbol which, says Deutsche Post, would increase the risk of confusion with the Deutsche Post brand."
October 26, 2008
As the Wall Street Journal put it: "In rich countries and poor countries alike, markets are plunging, companies are scrambling for credit and consumers are keeping cash in their pockets."
The Wall Street Journal also has a piece that should provoke some thinking within the Board of Governors of the Postal Service as the nation hears more about the USPS' plight: "These days it's impossible to avoid news stories about the financial crisis -- and the news about the economy especially seems to be getting worse. There is certainly plenty of blame to go around....Yet one very important question has gotten little attention: Where were the boards of directors of the companies that helped create this mess? While the CEOs run their companies' day-to-day activities, the boards have an obligation....Boards or directors must not of course micromanage companies....But politicians in Washington would be wise to adjust their focus upward -- where the true power lies -- and set greater levels of accountability for boards, requiring more stringent oversight by those who are empowered to set the ground rules for American companies."
The Washington Post has reported that "With wages not rising as quickly as the cost of basic necessities, coupons are back in favor after many years of steadily declining popularity, experts said. Eager to lure customers into stores, many merchants are not only offering more coupons, but they're also experimenting with creative ways to deliver them, such as text-messaging them to cellphones."
As the Dead Tree Edition has noted, "The head of a major postal union offered a novel solution for what ails the U.S. Postal Service this week: Stop communicating so much with your customers. Burrus is correct that mailers have an unusual level of access to Postal Service management -- unusually bad. Production managers at magazines and catalogs talk frequently with various people at their paper suppliers and printers. We sit down with them frequently to work out mutual problems and to explore opportunities. We have frequently toured their facilities, met with company presidents, and occasionally even gone into the homes of executives. But with the Postal Service, a larger supplier for most of us than any printer or paper company, we get a once-in-a-blue-moon visit from a national account rep who knows little about our business and has limited ability to get anything done. We have to rely on industry associations and especially on MTAC to work out existing problems with the Postal Service and to prevent new ones."
Here are two hot items from the PostalNewsBlog:
LiveMint.com has reported that "The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has criticised at Department of Post for diminishing procurement of business under the Postal Life Insurance and Rural Postal Life Insurance schemes."
Tongue in cheek...? The Washington Post has reported that "Over the past two years, as part of a program to modernize and standardize the appearance of the nation's 37,000 post offices, the U.S. Postal Service has been quietly removing the clocks from customer waiting areas. This is said to be the agency's way of solving the problem of customer exasperation at having to wait in long lines."
October 25, 2008
As the New York Times has noted, " various groups are trying to reduce the flow of unsolicited mail into American homes, arguing that it is an environmental problem. Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Leonardo DiCaprio have lent their support, and do-not-mail legislation, patterned on do-not-call laws against unsolicited telephone calls, has been introduced in about 16 states. But Michael J. Critelli, 59, executive chairman of the mailing company Pitney Bowes, says unsolicited mail is not nearly as damaging to the environment as these opponents are arguing."
According to Advertising Age, "Do you like bad news? Then maybe you should pick up a newspaper. Or a newspaper company. The embattled industry faces tough prospects amid a slumping economy, weakening ad sales and declining print readership."
CebuNewsOnline has reported that "The Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) 7 in its aim to stop the issuance of fake postal identification cards in the region has recently implemented the one signature for Postal ID system."
The Western Morning News has reported that "Westcountry communities have reacted with "disgust" and frustration at the news Royal Mail has doubled its profits during a period in which Devon and Cornwall lost 150 post offices."
October 24, 2008
The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
Yahoo! Tech has noted that "Kurt Peters, editor-in-chief of trade publication Internet Retailer, noted that stores can easily react to a sharp sales slowdown in a matter of hours by sending out e-mail blasts, which is faster and more cost-effective than redoing a mailer to consumers. Julie M. Katz, another Forrester analyst, estimates that it costs about $2 for every thousand e-mails sent. The Direct Marketers Association estimates that marketers reap $45.06 in return on investment for every dollar they spend on e-mail campaigns. That compares with $7.28 for catalogs and $15.55 for direct mail pieces."
Hellmail has reported that "The Belgian postal service (La Poste) has announced that it is being forced to increase postage prices from January 1, 2009 It said that: "Due to strong inflation and an increase in the prices of energy, certain postal services will see their prices increasing from January 2009."
From eMediaWire: " Earth Class Mail Corp. has announced FedEx® as its new carrier of choice for forward-shipping mail and parcels to its customers within the U.S."
From the U.S. Postal Service: "When Intelligent Mail® barcode options are offered in May 2009, the Postal Service and mailers will enter the next generation of mail processing — end-to-end visibility of mail. In May, mailers will have two options for Intelligent Mail services — Basic or Full-Service. With the Basic option, mailers will use the Intelligent Mail barcode on letters and flats in place of the POSTNET barcode to provide routing information. If they choose, mailers can select value-added services, such as OneCode ACS for address changes and OneCode Confirm for mailpiece tracking. These options would be incorporated in the Intelligent Mail barcode, rather than being printed in the address block, freeing up space on the mailpiece for additional marketing messages. The Basic option will enable mailers to be compliant when the POSTNET barcode is retired in 2011. It also will make it easier for them to transition to the Full-Service option. The Full-Service option takes advantage of everything the Intelligent Mail barcode has to offer. Mailers will receive automated address correction notices and start-the-clock data, which correspond to when the mail is inducted into postal processing, at no additional charge."
Balkan Insight has reported that "Pieter Feith, the International Civilian Representative in Kosovo, has hailed a government decision to privatise Kosovo's Post and Telecommunications Company, PTK."
As EurActiv has noted, "Soaring fuel prices, together with growing road congestion and increasingly stringent EU legislation, are forcing freight and delivery services to rethink their transportation strategies so as to save money on fuel and limit their environmental impact."
The October 2008 Direct Mail Advisory Board (DMAB) Update has been posted on this site. The DMAB is a group of postal and industry organizations and its mission is to "foster the growth of direct mail as a factor of economic and market expansion by increasing market knowledge and by developing the expertise of stakeholders at all levels".
Wireless and Mobile News has reported that "New research from Sprint confirms that the under-30 crowd is definitely texting in mass, and they're driving their parents to text, too. The number of adults who are texting has risen from two years ago, when a 2006 Pew Research study cited that 13 percent of adults ages 50-64 used the text messaging function on their mobile phone. The Sprint study reveals that now 20 percent of adults ages 55-64 send text messages. According to a survey conducted by Opinion Research Corp. (ORC), a text is far more likely to elicit a quick response than voice mail. In fact, those under the age of 30 are four times more likely to respond within minutes to a text message compared to a voice mail, and 91 percent respond to a text message within one hour. Adults 30 and older are also quick to text -- and are twice as likely to respond within minutes to a text message as compared to a voice message."
CNET News has reported that "a French company called Inside Contactless has come up with an interim solution that will let people turn their phones into credit cards and transit cards. Inside's MicroPass technology will be embedded into a sticker that can then be affixed to a phone, wallet, or anything else. The company, which entered the U.S. bank card market with a microprocessor-based chip in 2005 and is backed by Nokia, Motorola and Samsung, recently announced that Colorado Plastics will be producing stickers using the MicroPass technology. Adoption will depend on how quickly banks, retailers and phone companies can agree on standards and implementation, as well as on whether people are ready to merge their phone and their wallet."
The Financial Times has reported that "Royal Mail's pension deficit has soared 25 per cent to £4 billion and is likely to jump further after an actuarial review next March. However, half-year operating profits of the state-owned organisation more than doubled to £177 million, only six months after it said it would need a big cash injection because of a declining market and increased pension costs. In the six months to the end of September, postal volumes fell 4 per cent, leaving the daily postbag at 79 million items, a drop of five million on two years ago."
The Rocky Mount Telegram has noted: "IWCO Direct closes plant. More than 300 lose jobs at Elm City plant....This is a very, very difficult decision," said Debora Haskel, vice president of marketing for IWCO Direct. She said the closing of the plant at 6030 U.S. 301 in Wilson County just south of Sharpsburg is tied to the fact that companies are mailing out fewer brochures in this struggling economy. "It (the plant closing) is completely market driven," she said. "As you might be aware, the (U.S.) postal service has announced 9 billion fewer pieces of mail this year than last. We are seeing the impact of that." The release states that the company is offering outplacement support for the some of employees who were let go and possible employment in IWCO Direct's Minnesota facilities. Equipment and production operations from the North Carolina plant are being transferred to three other IWCO Direct facilities in Minnesota."
More on the Rand study on "Easing Restrictions on Deliveries to Postal Mailboxes Could Hurt Efforts to Keep Mail Safe." [full report] [summary]
According to the Business Courier of Cincinnati, " The planned $10 billion outsourcing deal between United Parcel Service and Germany's Deutsche Post AG may be renegotiated, according to a Wall Street Journal report. UPS chairman and CEO Scott Davis said in a conference call that while talks are continuing – with hopes to close the deal by year's end – its "size and scope" could change."
October 23, 2008
Air Cargo World has reported that "The Air Line Pilots Association is up in arms over DHL's proposed service contract with UPS. The agreement would give UPS all of DHL's U.S. air freight business and erode competition in the air cargo market. ALPA points to a new page on UPS' Web site as an indication that what DHL has called a vendor contract agreement with UPS is really a poorly disguised preamble to a merger."
Press Release: "VoiceMail Courier® is a call center service that will deposit your marketing sales message into the voice mailbox of your client or potential customer."
Hellmail has reported that "Post-Switch, an impartial postal analysts and advisory service, says that Royal Mail has failed to react to the commercial world, describing it as one of the most inefficient operators in Europe."
The Associated Press has reported that "UPS Inc.'s third-quarter profit fell nearly 10 percent despite a rise in sales, the world's largest shipping carrier said Thursday as it warned that it faces more challenges ahead, job cuts may be on the horizon and the "scope and the size" of a deal it is working out to carry some packages for rival DHL could change. "Santa's sleigh may be a bit lighter this year," Chief Financial Officer Kurt Kuehn said during a conference call with analysts." See also Bloomberg.
The Financial Times has reported that " Royal Mail is paying the price of the economic slowdown with businesses and individuals cutting their postal bills to rein in costs. Mail volumes were down 4 per cent in the past six months, as increased competition from electronic media and private sector postal operators combined with the mounting economic gloom to reduce the number of letters and parcels. Royal Mail's daily postbag is now about 79m items – 5m fewer than two years ago when volumes peaked. The state-owned group said mail revenues were linked closely to gross domestic product, with usage particularly vulnerable to a downturn in the advertising market. Users were also switching increasingly to e-mail, instant messaging and the internet, motivated partly by cost and a desire to cut carbon emissions associated with mail."
According to The Mail, "Profits at the Royal Mail have more than doubled amid cuts and the fact it is delivering five million fewer letters a day than two years ago. The company made £177million in operating profits for the past six months - up by some £91million on the same period last year. The news has heightened suspicions the publicly-owned institution is being fattened up ahead of a controversial scheme to privatise it."
The Associated Press has reported that "The IRS on Thursday announced its own little economic bailout plan, worth about $266 million, for taxpayers who didn't get their economic stimulus checks or regular income tax refunds the first time around because they couldn't be found. The tax agency said it couldn't deliver about 279,000 rebate checks worth about $163 million coming from the economic stimulus package that Congress enacted last February. It said the U.S. Postal Service returned about 104,000 regular refund checks totaling about $103 million because of address errors." [EdNote: Now that puts a really personal price tag on UAA mail.]
Trading Markets has reported that "The State Post Bureau said local regulators in the city of Tianjin and in Sichuan province imposed penalties on China units of FedEx Express earlier this month for delivering letters, in violation of the China Post Group's legal monopoly. An industry source told XFN-Asia that the source of the dispute is the ambiguous definition of "letters" in the current postal law, which has been in place since 1987. Margins are also high for "document" delivery which could include letters - and this means the major foreign express couriers including FedEx, DHL and UPS as well as domestic private companies are all very likely to be involved in the business. The source added that FedEx cut prices sharply for domestic document services recently, prompting complaints from local rivals."
As Wallet Pop put it: "Wow! I know businesses everywhere are feeling the need bring in more cash but charging paying customers just to open their files is a bit on the ridiculous side. Joel Watson, creator of Hijinks Ensue a "Geek Webcomic", went to his local FedEx Kinkos to print copies of a several comic strips and was not so politely informed that for every file after the first there would be a "digital rendering" fee of $2.50. To further emphasize the stupidity of this charge, the "digital rendering" fee essentially covers the clerk double clicking on a file!"
United Press International has reported that "Shipping company FedEx Ground repeated its claim that its drivers were independent contractors after the U.S. government dropped a large tax claim against it. The Internal Revenue Service withdrew a $319 million tax claim against FedEx Ground Wednesday, the Memphis, Tenn., Commercial-Appeal reported." See also Traffic World.
From USPS Lite Blue: "USPS is facing one of the most difficult challenges in its history. As a result, complement in all Headquarters and Headquarters-related units has been reduced - some vacant positions have been eliminated, while other occupied positions are impacted. Starting this week, employees occupying impacted positions will be notified and given information and guidance. All Headquarters and Headquarters-related employees interested in competing for these vacancies, impacted or not, are urged to create a profile now within the eCareer system on LiteBlue. Some additional positions will become vacant as a result of regular and voluntary retirements."
From Business Wire: "Pitney Bowes Inc., the world's leading mailstream technology company, is encouraging mailers to take action now to prepare for new and tighter rules from the U.S. Postal Service that mandate how frequently mailers update their mailing lists. The company is providing lots of valuable information to assist mailers in adapting to the new rules, known as the Move Update Standard. The Move Update Standard, which goes into effect on November 23, requires all commercial First-Class Mail(R) and all Standard Mail(R) mailers to update their customer data within 95 days prior to the date of the mailing, down from 185 days under the current rules, in order to continue to qualify for certain postal discounts. Specifically, mailers will be required to use a USPS(R)-approved solution to match address records with customer-filed change-of address (COA) orders received and maintained by the Postal Service."
Ascribe has reported that "Allowing private courier services to deliver items into mailboxes could hamper efforts by the U.S. Postal Service to safeguard the nation's mail, according to a new RAND Corporation study. Although the impact of such a change is likely to be moderate, it could diminish public safety and security by diluting the effectiveness of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, according to the report. These negative effects could be reduced depending on how much access to the mailbox was opened and whether only the major couriers or a range of different types of couriers were allowed to enter the postal market. RAND researchers also found that there was only modest public support for such a change, with urban residents more likely to support the idea than residents in more rural areas."
The Guardian has reported that "Royal Mail said today that its one-price-goes-anywhere universal postal service is in the red and under threat. The company also warned slumping stockmarkets have sent its pension deficit soaring while the future of the Post Office network hinges on winning the tender for the Post Office Card Account, used by several million people to receive pensions and benefits."
IT Reseller has noted that "Intermec has announced that Royal Mail, the leading provider of mail and parcel delivery services in the United Kingdom, has awarded Intermec a contract to provide over 25,000 of its rugged, handheld CN3 mobile computers. The Intermec CN3 mobile computers have been chosen as part of Royal Mail's investment in new technology to modernise the business, improve efficiency and customer service while cutting operational costs."
The Ghanaian Times has reported that "A day's workshop to draft a National Postal and Courier Policy was held in Accra yesterday. The workshop was to afford stakeholders the opportunity to make inputs into the proposed policy which among others would seek to address the needs of rural people in the country."
Online Media Daily has reported that "young adults report paying more attention to marketing messages via e-mail and direct mail, according to new research from Ball State University and ExactTarget. Among 18- to-34-year-olds, consumers are more likely to be influenced to make purchases based on e-mail marketing messages and direct mail than from advertisements or marketing messages on social networks, according to the white paper."
Marketing Daily has reported that "Based on a survey of 16,000 consumers across all nine census regions, the New York-based brand and customer loyalty research consultancy finds that 35% say they plan to spend less on this year's shopping-- shelling out an average of about $775. While consumers consistently want to be seen as "wise shoppers, " the study notes, they are feeling that imperative more keenly than ever this year, with 20% more of them planning to spend their dough in discount stores, 35% more shopping online, and 20% more using catalogs. The big losers will be specialty stores, with 33% fewer people planning to shop there, and 5% less shopping at department stores."
Xinhua has reported that "The 15th ASEAN Postal Business Meeting opened here on Thursday, providing a platform for participants from the region to explore cooperation."
Yahoo! Espana has reported that "the chairman of the Postal Service, Jose Damian Santiago, said he was now confident that Correos de España will continue to lead the sector in coming years despite the liberalization of the postal service in January 2011."
Network World has reported that "As part of activities marking this year's World Post Day, the Sierra Leone Postal Services last week commissioned its Web site and unveiled its electronic tracking system. The tracking system is a Web-based software that customers can use to track their mailed items as they moves from one point to another."
From Canada NewsWire: "Canadian Union of Postal Workers' (CUPW) National President Denis Lemelin says his union is working out inter-union protocols with the Union of Postal Communications Employees (UPCE) that will be used should the UPCE set up picket lines in the weeks to come."
CJAD has reported that "Quebecor, the Montreal-based media and publishing group, is taking on the country's Big Three mobile phone companies, by rolling out an 800-million dollar wireless network plan over the next four years."
CNET News has reported one of the print media's ruling class has asked: "Could the Information Age's fast-paced news overload be a boon to the old-media companies that it was supposedly going to force out of business? That was one of the suggestions brought forth by Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman and publisher of The New York Times Company, at his keynote address at the WebbyConnect conference here Wednesday morning. "Our 21st-century news cycle, with its trials and tribulations, feels even more immediate because of our access," he said. "It is reasonable to ask: Do we need all this news and information? Do we want all this news and information? Can we tolerate all this news and information?" In an age characterized by both extreme uncertainty and a glut of outlets to hear about it, Sulzberger said people will turn to trusted and pragmatic voices."
Canadian Business has reported that "It's going to cost a little more to mail a little letter - and a lot more to mail a big one. Canada Post has served notice that it intends to raise the price of a basic stamp to 54 cents from 52 cents, starting in January. The Crown corporation is also proposing to double the cost of mailing large envelopes, like the ones widely used in online shopping. The postal giant blames costly decisions by the Conservative government in 2006 to maintain existing levels of rural mail delivery and to continue a postal subsidy for magazines and periodicals. It also cites soaring fuel costs."
October 22, 2008
Docket No. RM2008-6: On September 12, 2008, the Postal Service filed a petition to initiate an informal rulemaking to consider two changes to the cost methods used in its periodic reports to the Commission. 1 PRC Order No. 115 issued October 10, 2008, recently ruled on nine such proposals in Docket No. RM2008-2. Proposal Ten would develop costs for single piece Parcel Post, Parcel Select, and Parcel Return Service (PRS) separately using In-Office Cost System (IOCS), Carrier Cost System (CCS), and Transportation Cost System (TRACS) data. Proposal Eleven would distribute the attributable costs of collecting mail from "blue collection boxes" to products based on current data collected from the City Carrier Cost System (CCCS), rather than on data from a special study submitted in Docket No. R84-1. Petition at 5. Proposals Ten and Eleven contained in the Petition of the United States Postal Service Requesting Initiation of a Proceeding to Consider Further Proposed Methodology Changes for the FY 2008 ACR (Proposals Ten — Eleven), filed September 12, 2008, are accepted.
In a letter written to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Mailers Council Executive Director Robert McLean wrote:
"On behalf of the Mailers Council's membership that collectively represents more than 70% of all mail, I write regarding the need for exceptionally qualified individuals to be nomi-nated to the United States Postal Service Board of Governors.
"The Postal Service is experiencing profound changes and unprecedented financial chal-lenges, which is why you and other members of Congress worked diligently to approve the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) in 2006. To ensure that postal leaders are up to the challenges the Postal Service faces, Title V of the PAEA, Section 501, stipules that nominees to the board must meet very specific criteria. They shall have demonstrated their "ability in managing organizations or corporations (in either the public or private sec-tor) of substantial size; except that at least 4 of the Governors shall be chosen solely on the basis of their demonstrated ability in managing organizations or corporations (in either the public or private sector) that employ at least 50,000 employees."
"[I]t is imperative that the Senate consider and approve only candidates who meet the statu-tory criteria and who have experience managing large organizations....[T]he need for qualified, talented, leadership has never been more pressing....[W]e ask for the opportunity to discuss this situation personally."
From Business Wire: "Pitney Bowes Emtex Software, a division of Pitney Bowes Inc. and a leading provider of Production Intelligence(R) Workflow Solutions for print and mail operations, announces the release of P/I Wizard software at GraphExpo 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. The P/I Wizard software has a document-driven and browser-based interface that is designed to simplify job preparation for a variety of complex applications including digital color and Transpromo. The comprehensive P/I Wizard delivers a suite of capabilities that simplify print job preparation and increase workflow productivity without scripting."
FistNews.com has reported that "The Conservation Voters of South Carolina (CVSC) are in hot water today after the Internal Revenue Service was forwarded documentation of the group's political activities that could jeopardize its privilege to send mail at reduced, non-profit postage rates and more importantly, to raise charitable, tax deductible contributions. Both would be crippling blows to the 501(c)3 organization's ability to raise money and get its message out, although if postal officials rescind their non-profit mail rate and the IRS yanks the group's 501(c)3 status, the CVSC will have no one to blame but itself. In one of the most egregious violations of postal code and IRS regulations we've seen in any political campaign, the CVSC send out a mail piece last week attacking Republican State Rep. Mick Mulvaney and endorsing Democrat Mandy Powers-Norrell in a hotly-contested State Senate race in Lancaster and York Counties."
APWU: In an unusually candid "open letter," the President of the American Postal Workers Union has told the Postmaster General that "the current USPS business plan is not working and cannot be expected to work in the future." He calls on the PMG to take a different course.
Press Release: "Express Mail packages can be held at Post Offices for pickup, giving customers both the peace of mind of secure delivery and the convenience of picking up their packages when it best fits their schedules. And now, customers can choose Express Mail Hold For Pickup service through Click-N-Ship® on usps.com. Hold For Pickup, previously available for Express Mail purchased at Post Offices™ and at Automated Postal Centers® (APCs), is now also available for online shippers. A Hold For Pickup package is shipped directly to a Post Office, instead of being left at the recipient's address. The package is then held at the Post Office until picked up anytime during office hours, at the time most convenient for the recipient."
TheTrucker.com has reported that "Alan Berman Trucking, a Woodland Hills, Calif.-based mail hauling company, has paid $825,000 in back wages to 80 current and former drivers, resolving a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor. The company and its principals are also barred from government contracts for three years."
According to the Rocky Mount Telegram, "A cutback in postal employees' hours is impacting mail flow to local business owners. Post Office box mail essential for business operations has been flowing into U.S. Post Office boxes later during the day in recent weeks. Businesses are reporting that essential mail, like customer checks that need to be deposited in a timely fashion, has been coming later in the day since the Post Office began implementing a new policy on Oct. 1. Before that date, post office box mail for the day was supposed to be in the boxes by 9:30 a.m. The time now has been pushed up to 11 a.m."
From PR Web: "Think Ink Marketing has pioneered a new, innovative direct mail solution that, for the first time ever, will allow customers to get the look and results of First-Class Mail at the discounted postage rate of bulk mail. Until now, the ability to send handwritten mail with bulk postage was thought to be impossible in the direct mail industry. Think Ink Marketing is the first company to be approved by the U.S. Postal Service to implement this unique solution."
Manufacturing Computer Solutions has reported that "A new service, dubbed CommerceMail, opens up EDI to millions of buyers and suppliers still relying on faxes and the postal service for supply chain management, according to developer Advanced Data Exchange (ADX). ADX, which specialises in building electronic trading communities, is billing CommerceMail as the industry's first supplier relationship management solution that enables manufacturers to use email-based workflow to manage 100% of their trading partners."
From Business Wire: "SkyPostal Networks, Inc., the largest private postal network in Latin America, today announced its launch of a new parcel logistics service under the PuntoMio brand (www.puntomio.com). PuntoMio.com offers online international shopping assistance with U.S. e-tailers, and provides international transport, customs clearance and delivery to cross-border shoppers."
From PR-Inside: "Xerox Corporation has unveiled its Mail Shop in a Box program, a simple way for commercial and quick printers to add mailing services to their business. Xerox also announced a collection of new business development tools and services - including Web-based sales training and Webinars on industry trends. "Half of the mail delivered today is direct mail. That type of volume provides a growth opportunity for printers," said Joseph Truncale, president and chief executive officer, National Association for Printing Leadership. "According to our research, printers who increasingly compete on price alone are experiencing eroding profits. There is an interest among printers in complementing offset printing with digital and mailing services, but they need the education and resources to help establish these new lines of business."
Reuters has reported that " Remuneration paid by Italy to Poste Italiane for postal bond distribution between 2000 and 2006 did not constitute illegal state aid because it was in line with market rates, the European Commission ruled on Wednesday."
PrintWeek has reported that "The UK direct mail industry has thrown its weight behind Lord Mandelson's call for the partial privatisation of the Royal Mail, expecting it to be a positive move for the industry."
From Media Newswire: "RedPrairie Corporation, a world leading consumer driven optimization company, announced today that Norway Post has selected RedPrairie´s E2eTM Transport Management System ( TMS ) as its strategic solution of choice for its Transport Distribution Load Planning project ( TDLP ) for its fast growing logistics operations."
It has been announced that "Sue Presti has been appointed to succeed Richard Miller as executive director of the International Mailers' Advisory Group (IMAG) upon the latter's retirement in December. The announcement was made today by IMAG Chairman John Michell, Pitney Bowes, Inc. Ms. Presti has extensive experience working with trade associations and on international postal and delivery issues. For the last 13 years she served as executive director of the Express Delivery & Logistics Association's (XLA) Government Affairs Committee and, for two of those years, served simultaneously as executive director of XLA. There, she represented the express industry on postal, security, customs and international trade issues. Of particular note, she represented XLA at the Universal Postal Union, serving on the Consultative Committee's (CC) management committee, and chaired the CC's working groups on customs and international trade, and on universal service. Mr. Miller has been Executive Director of IMAG since its inception in 1997 and welcomed the choice of Ms. Presti as his successor. Though retiring from his duties at IMAG, he will continue as a senior consultant in the international arena through his firm, Market Response International (www.rmillerinternational.com)."
Federal Register: "The Postal Regulatory Commission is adding a new product identified as Priority Mail Contract 1 Negotiated Service Agreement to the Mail Classification Schedule Competitive Product List, pursuant to a Postal Service request. The request incorporates notice of the Postal Service's execution of a related contract. The Commission is also re-publishing the lists of market dominant and competitive products. The Commission's actions are consistent with changes in a recent law governing postal operations."
Northern Ireland News has reported that "Sixty dishonest postal staff were fired in Northern Ireland between 2005 and 2007, Royal Mail has revealed. Theft-related incidents during the three-year period led to 23 employees facing prosecution, with a further 37 questioned under caution, and subsequently sacked."
Hellmail has reported that "Hybrid Mail looks set to become an important part of the UK mail network. For some, the concept of sending mail direct from a PC that is ultimately packaged and delivered through the door, is an attractive concept and increasingly there seems to be a wider choice than ever. For print houses, the growth in hybrid mail offers a whole new revenue stream." [Still not happenin' here in the U.S. It seems the USPS still has no clue as to how to price it to entice the private sector to make it a marketing success.]
The Barbados Advocate has reported that "There must be deliberate policy in place as part of the repositioning of the Barbados Postal Service to ensure that the development and management of human capital is paramount. This was the call from Attorney-General and Minister of Home Affairs, Freundel Stuart, as he addressed postal workers and guests at the Barbados Postal Service Retirement Banquet at the Plantation Restaurant recently."
The Associated Press has reported that "UPS Inc., the world's largest shipping carrier, reports third-quarter earnings on Thursday. The following is a summary of key developments and analyst opinion related to the period. The company remains confident in its plans for future growth. UPS, also known as United Parcel Service, has said it has been working to cut costs. UPS also is working out a contract to carry some air packages for DHL, the struggling U.S.-based express shipping unit of German postal service Deutsche Post AG. UPS, when it announced the proposed collaboration on May 28, predicted that the deal, when completed, will add up to $1 billion in annual revenue for the company."
Canada.com has reported that "As members of a union that represents some workers at Canada Post threaten to walk off the job in November, Canada Post is assuring its customers no mail would be disrupted during the peak holiday season."
The Chronicle Herald has reported that "The national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and two other executive members took to the floor of the Halifax mail processing plant Tuesday to protest the suspension of more than 40 Canada Post workers."
October 21, 2008
Direct has reported that "The Direct Marketing Association laid off nearly two dozen individuals on Monday, including several high-level employees. Among the employees reportedly let go were Leslie J. Benjamin, director of education and event marketing; Douglas Berger, director of member communications (formerly a staff member with PostCom); James F. Conway, vice president and counsel for corporate and social responsibility; Peter Johnson, VP and senior economist for strategy, analysis and planning; Alan P. Kuritsky, senior VP of sales and marketing; Charles A. Prescott, VP of global development (and recently re-elected Chairman of the Universal Postal Union's Consultative Committee); and Marci Silverman, director of membership and research marketing. The cuts follow a round of distressing financial news for the organization. Between 2007 and 2008, the DMA's revenue dropped from $39.7 million to just over $39 million – and as its financial year ends on June 30, those figures do not include results from the most recent annual conference, which casual observers described as lightly attended."
According to UNI, "UNI's Canadian affiliate, CUPW has advised that Canada Post has told the union that it is to introduce a technology update programme, called "Modern Post". A central part of Canada Post's "Modern Post" automation program is the new delivery model for letter carriers and Mail Sorting Centres."
From PR Web: "Earth Class Mail Corp., the global leader in delivering postal mail via the Internet, announced that it has recently added capacity to address increased demand from Fortune 500 and government customers, including a 35% increase in staffing during the past two quarters and the opening of several new processing centers. Economic pressures that have been exacerbated by the financial crisis have prompted these large business and governmental organizations to seek immediate opportunities to cut costs related to mail and document handling by "going paperless," as well as to reduce their environmental footprint and boost employee productivity. They are attracted to Earth Class Mail's mail-center-based solution because it can deliver these benefits rapidly and with relatively small up-front investment, especially given that 99% of an organization's daily incoming paper-document flow typically funnels in through its mail center."
The Independent has asked, "Spam vs junk mail - which is the lesser evil?"
The Cloud Computing Journal has reported that "Pitney Bowes announced today that it has signed a contract to provide 50 stand-alone postal kiosks to La Poste, France's national postal operator, so that La Poste can enhance its retail network in large urban areas. The contract is one of the largest Pitney Bowes has ever signed for postal kiosks, and includes the design, installation and servicing of postal kiosks that will be located in post offices in some of France's largest cities, beginning in 2009."
Congratulations to the American Institute of Cancer Research's Kelly Browning who has been elected as Chairman of the Direct Marketing Association. Kelly also serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for Postal Commerce.
According to the Dead Tree Edition, "We may be witnessing the slow death of the U.S. Postal Service's Sectional Center Facilities (SCFs). Exhibit A: Periodicals rates."
Emirates Business 24|7 has noted that "Competition in the region's courier, express and parcel (CEP) market is set to grow following the entry of a new player, Economic Zones Post (EZ Post) Fzco. Industry sources believe the development will help transform the sector and boost its performance, with growth expected to reach 30 per cent."
According to Canada.com, " Mail-service slowdowns can be expected starting Nov. 9 if talks this week between Canada Post and one of its unions don't go well."
CebuOnlineNews has reported that "Business Secretary Lord Mandelson was told last night by the SNP he would be "barking mad" to privatise the Post Office in the middle of a recession. Angus MP Mike Weir, the party's business spokesman at Westminster, lashed out as it became clear that at least part-privatising Royal Mail is at the top of the agenda."
The Press and Journal has reported that "Business Secretary Lord Mandelson was told last night by the SNP he would be "barking mad" to privatise the Post Office in the middle of a recession. Angus MP Mike Weir, the party's business spokesman at Westminster, lashed out as it became clear that at least part-privatising Royal Mail is at the top of the agenda."
Domain-b.com has reported that "In a surprise move ensured to delay its air cargo plans for quite a while, Indian flag carrier Air India has decided to exit the cargo space and lease out its freighters. This, even though, cargo is a big revenue earner."
Steve Lawson, editor for Hellmail, the postal industry news site said: "Introducing competition to the UK postal market could have been a great idea, at least on paper, were it not for the fact that real competition simply doesn't exist. All thats happened is that other operators have jumped on Royal Mail's baseline business and used Royal Mail as a giant paper-round and that leaves the universal service seriously under-funded. In the meantime, Royal Mail is being left to deliver nearly all of it, even mail sorted by rivals." "If privatisation is next, the government might just as well admit that deregulation has failed. Only two years ago, Chairman of Royal Mail Allan Leighton had turned Royal Mail into a profit-making business but the regulatory framework that followed left Royal Mail with its hands tied behind its back whilst there was a free-for-all on snapping up Royal Mail's lucrative work. Deregulation has been a disaster. Even allowing for a decrease in mail volume, nothing has sealed Royal Mail's fate as surely as the UK's version of postal liberalisation."
As the Patriot-News has noted, "The postal service has lost people by attrition, instituted a hiring freeze and made it clear that 16,000 employees without six years on the job lack protection from layoffs. It also is offering voluntary early retirement to those who have reached age 55 with 20 years' service or anyone with 25 years on the job. The decision period is now. The Postal Service estimates that 57,000 clerks and 16,000 mail handlers and supervisors are eligible. It projects that 6,496 clerks, 1,552 mail handlers, and 693 supervisors will accept the offer."
October 20, 2008
Packaging Digest has reported that "Software enables direct-selling beauty company AVON CANADA to increase the filling level of its shipping cases, saving on postal and packing charges, reducing warehouse traffic and avoiding bottlenecks at the conveyor belt."
MTAC: The Mailers Techical Advisory Group has created a new USPS-industry workgroup to "Define Opportunities for First-Class Mail Growth Impact on Other Issues/Procedures." This new initiative will affect and require changes to current business processes. Some of the impacted organizations or functional areas are identified as, but not limited to: 1. Business Mail Acceptance – current acceptance and verification process; 2. Mailing Standards and Preparation – current regulation assessment and development of new requirements; 3. USPS Mail Processing Operations – current preparation to processing assessment, business process integrity, data collection/management, and exception reporting; 4. Shipping and Mailing Services – new products and services The workgroup will focus on the following: 1. Identify opportunities to grow First-Class Mail volume; 2. Identify and eliminate obstacles that hinder First-Class Mail growth; 3. Develop products or services that make mail more valuable and attractive to business customers. For futher information, contact: Contact information is as follows: Maynard Benjamin, 703-739-2200, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Steve Monteith, 202-268-6983, email: email@example.com
The Mailers Council has told its members that "The Postal Service has decided to compete with its customers in a broad expansion of its definition of the term "nonpostal services." The first such product involves postage meter ink cartridges. This new product offering was created without any notice to the PRC or so much as a phone call to Pitney Bowes, one of the USPS' largest and most important business partners (and through Pitney's subsidiary, PSI, one of the larges mailer customers in the country). So, our concern is that the USPS may plan other products that would put the agency in direct competition with other Mailers Council members. Pitney Bowes has filed a motion with the PRC, stating that the Postal Service's action violates not one, but two, Commission orders requiring the Postal Service to file a complete list of nonpostal services. Such a list and description is necessary for the Commission to fulfill its responsibilities under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) in determining which nonpostal services should continue and how to classify those continuing services. Pitney Bowes has asked that the Commission issue an order directing the Postal Service to file a complete list and description of all existing and new offerings that may be subject to this proceeding. Following the Postal Service's submission of a compete listing of all existing and new nonpostal services, the Commission should afford interested parties the opportunity to comment on the newly disclosed activities."
The Leader-Post has reported that "Canadians might have problems sending their holiday greeting cards this year if Canadian postal workers, who voted 88 per cent in favour of a strike mandate, follow through and walk off the job in November."
FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., has broken ground on a new hub at the Cologne/Bonn airport, the site of the company's new Central and Eastern European gateway.
PMG Jack Potter has announced the appointment of William Gilligan as Acting Chief Postal Inspector to replace Chief Postal Inspector Al Lazaroff, who retires Nov. 3.
The Financial Times has reported that "When Britain began selling off state-owned enterprises in the 1980s, it launched a wave of privatisation that spread throughout Europe and beyond. A quarter of a century later, the UK is a laggard when it comes to privatising Royal Mail. Most large European countries have privatised or at least partially privatised the once state-owned postal monopolies, or - like France - plan to do so. The review of the postal sector by Richard Hooper, due to be sent to ministers this month, will emphasise the urgent need to bring capital into a business facing competitive challenges. Yet in spite of the support of Lord Mandelson for partial privatisation, the political obstacles are enormous and none of the options is without difficulties. Worse, private investors are not queuing up to buy a stake in a business weighed down by one of the country's largest pension deficits."
The Telegraph has reported that "Lord Mandelson has set the ground for a battle with Labour colleagues by disclosing that he is in favour of partially privatising Royal Mail."
The Bulgaria Information Agency has reported that "It is expected the income of the omnidirectional postal service to exceed 7% in 2008. It is envisaged increasing the number of the legal operators in 2008, chairperson of the State Agency for Information Technology and Communications, Plamen Vachkov said during a roundtable discussion, FOCUS News Agency reporter informed. More than 80 postal operators are on the Bulgarian market in the situation of liberalization of the postal services."
AME Info has reported that "as a sponsor of the 1st Housing Conference organized by Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme in co-operation with United Nations Human Settlements Programme, Emirates Post has fully supported the first-ever Housing Conference in the UAE."
The Financial Times has reported that "Royal Mail's future as a state-owned enterprise is bleak. Without radical surgery, and a huge injection of private capital, the postal operator will struggle even to compete let alone prosper when Europe liberalises its mail markets fully in 2011. Lord Mandelson, business secretary, is right to signal his support in principle for the part-privatisation of Royal Mail. Trade unions and Labour party MPs will protest. But the bigger challenge could be finding a buyer."
October 19, 2008
The Rutland and Stamford Mercury has reported that "The British Forces Post Office says it is struggling to get parcels to service personnel from their families, let alone gifts from strangers. The additional parcels, although generous, could potentially delay those from family and close friends reaching personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries. The Ministry of Defence is now urging people to show their support for troops in other ways. Bases in the area have backed the call."
The Financial Post has reported that "small businesses are missing global opportunities."
Scotland on Sunday has reported that "private postal companies are rapidly gaining ground on the Royal Mail in Scotland, with one firm tripling its business since the start of the year. Figures to be released on Friday by TNT Post UK, the British subsidiary of the Dutch postal giant, will show private operators have seized a large slice of the business delivery market over the past 12 months as more firms move away from the Royal Mail. TNT Post will reveal it has tripled its business clients in Scotland to 300 since January."
October 18, 2008
The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
The Dallas Morning News has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. said it will make more loans available to small U.S. importers by using in-transit goods as collateral. The UPS Capital insurance and lending unit will advance U.S. borrowers half the cost of the freight. Loans must typically be repaid within 60 days, Atlanta-based UPS said in a statement."
The New Nation has reported that "the interim government has 'in principle' approved a proposal of bringing the private courier services under legal coverage. The courier services, according to the proposal, would need registration to operate anywhere in the country. The council of advisors meeting held last week asked the law ministry for a further scrutiny of the proposed amendments to the Post Office Act that does not endorse private postal services. The draft amendments have sought to streamline the courier services being provided by the private sector widely across the country because of postal department's often-lazy services as alleged. Private courier service operators must follow certain rules to be specified by law and the government should have control over the fees they take from the people."
From openPR: "Crawford Technologies Inc., the award-winning provider of TransPromo and transactional document and mailing solutions, has announced the launch of Enterprise IMB™ Mail Piece Tracker, a software product designed to manage mail piece tracking information enabled by the new USPS Intelligent Mail® barcode (IMB). Using Mail Piece Tracker companies can effectively track their correspondence throughout the postal system and thereby improve customer service, optimize mail processing and affect a number of business process improvements."
October 17, 2008
Traffic World has reported that "FedEx purchased 77 acres from the Port of Portland to build a distribution center. The site is part of the 700-acre Reynolds Industrial site in Troutdale, Ore., said Bill Wyatt, executive director of the port. Memphis-based FedEx will replace an older distribution center on Swan Island that employs 500 people. The new facility has the potential to employ 1,000 workers. Construction will begin soon and could cost as much as $102 million."
According to PC World, "Whether you're shipping a holiday gift or an item you've sold on eBay, these tips and sites can help keep costs down."
A copy of the October 17, 2008 Direct Mail Issues has been posted on this site.
UPS has released new list rates for 2009, including an average increase of 5.9 percent for UPS Ground packages and an average net increase of 4.9 percent on all air express and U.S. origin International shipments. UPS Freight announced a general rate increase of 5.9% for 2009. The rate increase for air express and international shipments is based on a 6.9 percent increase in the base rate, less a 2 percent reduction in the air and international fuel surcharge index. The new rates will take effect on Jan. 5, 2009. Updated rate and service information will be posted on ups.com/rates beginning Oct. 24, 2008. On Dec. 18, customers can download the 2009 Rate and Service Guide on the UPS site.
In his contribution to the PostCom Bulletin, PostCom board member (and long-time MTAC rep) Charles Howard noted that "in seven months, the Harte-Hanks postal affairs vice president says his company will be as ready as any to implement IMB. The reason is due to careful advance planning and development, development that took more than three years. However, stumbling blocks remain for both Harte-Hanks and most of the mailing industry."
In a commentary prepared for the PostCom Bulletin, MTAC member (and PostCom director) Mike Winn expresses his perspective on the approach the USPS has used in its preparation for its IMb program.
In his latest perspective for the PostCom Bulletin, postal commentator (and former PostCom board chairman) Cary Baer takes issue with Bush Administration's latest nominee for the Postal Service Board of Governors.
Media Daily News has reported that "The coming year will see a wave of magazine closures, according to executives from several big magazine groups, who spoke off the record about the prospects of the magazine business in the wake of Hearst's decision to close CosmoGirl."
ABC News has reported that "Two weeks after being questioned by ABC News about his travel expenses and gambling habits, the head of the US Postal Service's Inspection Service abruptly announced his retirement. Alexander Lazaroff announced his retirement earlier this month saying, "after 37 years of federal service, I feel that it's time for me to begin a new chapter in my life." He made no mention of the ABC News questions nor of an ongoing investigation of his travels by the Postal Service's Inspector General. The Inspector General investigation of Lazaroff followed complaints from his own inspectors to Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) that the chief inspector squandered postal service money to arrange travel to resorts and other locations near casinos. Grassley says Lazaroff's departure will not stop the Inspector General's investigation."
"According to Helsingin Sanomat, Postal services of small rural communities are disappearing, as increasing numbers of shopkeepers decide that doubling as a post office is not worth the bother. Many say that the compensation paid by Itella Corporation, which is responsible for postal services in Finland, is not sufficient."
DubaiCityGuide has noted that "EZ Post FZE, a recently formed Economic Zones World (EZW) subsidiary, signed a joint venture agreement with PostaPlus, the first licensed private postal operator in the Middle East, to form EZ Post FZCO in a step aimed at consolidating its various mail room operations. EZ Post FZE and PostaPlus will own 51% and 49% of EZ Post FZCO's shares, respectively."
According to The Economist, "several companies are trying to make the best of Africa's creaking infrastructure to construct transcontinental logistics networks. Among them are DHL, Maersk, Dubai World and Chinese companies supplying oil and mining projects in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The clear leader so far is Bolloré Africa Logistics, a division of Bolloré, a French industrial conglomerate."
Air Cargo World has reported that "Microsoft is suing DHL for $2 million following last year's freight train derailment in Texas in which 21,600 Xbox 360 packages were damaged."
WTVN has noted that "The postal service is partnering with the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio in an effort to reduce paper at the landfill."
The NonProfit Times has noted that "Susan G. Komen For the Cure (SGK) began evolving its direct mail program in February 2007. This past May it starting dropping the blackout dates for swapping its donor files. It is also evolving its direct response program so that it is not tied to a mail piece or calendar plan but to when the donor was acquired, cementing a one-to-one relationship with donors. Industry-wide, the protected mail date, long a staple of the charitable list marketplace, is now in flux. And, the process of clearing list usage months in advance of a mail date is starting to be relaxed throughout the industry. The weak economy, pressure for increased revenue and moving to a donor-centric strategy are responsible for changes in how charities market donor files and how they handle list exchanges."
From PR Newswire: "The head of the 302,000-member National Association of Letter Carriers today assailed a television ad attacking Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire that suggests that U.S. Postal Service letter carriers are possible sexual predators endangering the lives of children on the street. The television ad, being run by the Republican Governors Association in support of GOP gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi, shows a man walking a dog, and then a letter carrier (with satchel and mail), leering at young children near an ice cream truck, while in the audio background a woman depicting a mother warns that some convicted sex offenders have not properly registered with law enforcement agencies during the Gregoire administration. "This television ad is beneath contempt," said NALC President William H. Young. "It is ludicrous and shameful that the Republican Governors Association would stoop so low as to portray America's most trusted government agents in this manner just to pump up a specious political argument against the incumbent governor."
Audit Report – Flats Sequencing System: Production First Article Testing Readiness and Quality (Report Number DA-AR-08-006). "To enhance FSS program success, the Postal Service needs to focus greater attention on several areas to better prepare for production FAT and improve production quality. Specifically: • Workload – Mail volumes and the number of mail zones processed at the FSS test site are below the assumptions made in the Decision Analysis Report (DAR). This prevents vigorous system testing, and increases the risk of system performance problems and financial returns lower than expected. • FAT Schedule – The FSS program schedule does not allow time for the results of the in-plant FAT to be evaluated before field FAT begins. • Critical Deliverables – Delays in the following SOW deliverables may affect system maintainability and performance. o Preliminary Production Baseline Technical Data Package (PPBTDP) o Maintenance Diagnostic and Support System (MDSS) o Program Control System (PCS) • Production Quality Control – The supplier's production quality control needs improvement to ensure that systems are built to provide reliable and consistent performance."
Radio New Zealand has reported that "New Zealand Post says a nationwide competition to remind people to use postcodes, is not aimed at cutting jobs. It carries a cash prize of $10,000. The Postal Workers Union says the more postcodes are used, the more mail can be sorted by machines. New Zealand Post says businesses are already using postcodes and the campaign is to remind the general public to use them as well. Marketing general manager Graham Smith says postcode use has risen from about 15% at the start of the year to about 50% now."
Federal Times has reported that "Will there be layoffs at the U.S. Postal Service? That's the buzz among the agency's 670,000 workers as signs grow that the agency is sliding further into financial trouble. The Postal Service has already extended early-retirement offers to more than 156,000 postal workers — roughly 20 percent of its work force. And the postmaster general, John Potter, told the largest postal union that the agency has identified as many as 16,000 employees who can be laid off without the need for collective bargaining because they lack seniority. Last month, nearly 3,700 employees had accepted early retirement offers in the first of three rounds of early-retirement offers. That represents about 5 percent of the 72,000 mail handlers, clerks, distributions operations supervisors and customer service supervisors who were eligible in the first round that expired Sept. 30. Most experts consider that a good response rate."
Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) Chairman Dan G. Blair announced that Commissioner Nanci Langley has been named Vice-Chairman of the Commission, succeeding Vice-Chairman Mark Acton. PRC regulations provide that the Commission elect a member to serve as Vice-Chairman for a term of one year.
As Air Cargo World put it: "think you've got parking ticket problems? Federal Express paid a whopping $10.7 million in parking and traffic ticket expenses to New York City in the fiscal year ending May 31, 2008, according to FedEx media relations spokesperson Sally Davenport."
October 16, 2008
DMM Advisory: "The September/October MailPro [HTML] | [PDF] is available now on usps.com/mailpro. You'll find informative articles on National PCC Day, Move Update, and NCOA Link, as well as this year's holiday mailing guide. Customers can access current and past issues of MailPro online, or subscribe by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, title, company name, complete delivery address, and daytime phone number.
"The European Article Numbering (EAN) Association and the Uniform Code Council (UCC) merged to form a new organization called "GS1." As a result, standard barcode terminology has changed. The "UCC/EAN Code 128 barcode" is now referred to as the "GS1-128 barcode." We have updated the DMM and will update other publications to reflect the new barcode name."
Transport & Logistics News has reported that "Australia Post has reported a record pre-tax profit of $592.2 million in the 2007-08 fiscal year, but said the unstable global market would threaten its profitability."
Columbus Business First has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service and Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio launched a campaign Thursday to keep junk mail out of landfills. Several bulk mailers in Central Ohio agreed to start printing a new logo on catalogs and envelopes that says, "Read, respond and recycle," reminding recipients not to throw paper in the trash. The message also will go out in public service announcements and Web sites."
The Vietnam News Agency has reported that " Do Thi Tinh, deputy inspector of the Ministry of Information and Communications spoke with Buu Dien Viet Nam (Viet Nam Post) about major problems with enterprises operating postal and delivery services."
From APWU: "Information received from APWU local presidents indicates that USPS management plans to eliminate Tour 2 at mail processing facilities across the country. This would eliminate tens of thousands of preferred duty assignments, which are filled by the most senior employees. Postal management has failed to inform the national union of this plan, and no discussions on the subject have taken place. The union believes that this lack of consultation at the national level violates the employer/union relationship, and we will respond appropriately. Mail volume continues to reflect the slumping economy, and personnel adjustments are the typical response to shifting work opportunities. In addition to the plans to eliminate Tour 2, the Postal Service has offered Voluntary Early Retirement to many categories of employees. The total number of employees accepting early-out offers will not be known for several weeks, but I do not expect management to achieve the complement reduction it hoped for."
DutchNews.nl has reported that "Postal company TNT said on Thursday it is lowering its full year forecasts because of a sharp downturn in the performance of its European express division." See also the International Herald Tribune.
The Taiwan Economic News has reported that "Taiwan and mainland China are poised to set up direct postal link, which will halve the delivery time and postage cost."
Federal Register: " The U.S. Postal Service has published a final rule that establishes a $25.00 minimum for USPS issuance of individual customer refund checks for the unused postage value in postage meters and PC postage accounts. In addition, the final rule provides a 60-day limit for submission of physical refunds for both PC Postage and postage meter indicia; specifies a 10- day limit and procedure for requesting refunds processed electronically for items bearing a Product Identification Code (PIC) produced by a PC Postage system; and establishes a refund procedure for unused, undated PC Postage indicia."
Octobr 15, 2008
Press Release: "The Postal Service today submitted a report to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) on its position related to the Universal Service Obligation (USO) and postal monopoly. The Postal Service confirms its continued commitment of trusted, affordable universal service to the American public. The report supports that no changes to the USO and monopoly are necessary at this time while additional flexibilities will be required to ensure affordable, universal service into the future. Obligations of the USO include uniform prices, quality of service, access to services, and six-day delivery to every part of the country. To assure financial support for these obligations, the postal monopoly provides the Postal Service the exclusive right to deliver letters and restricts mailbox access solely for mail. Therefore, the USO and postal monopoly are inextricably linked. The report supports that eliminating or reducing either aspect of the monopoly "would have a devastating impact on the ability … to provide the affordable universal service that the country values so highly." Relaxing access to the mailbox would also pose security concerns, increase delivery costs, and hurt customer service."
CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Business has developed in a positive way for post companies over the last few years. Last week, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) revealed that the total domestic parcel volume had gone up by 7.9% to around 6.5 billion consignments between 2002 and 2007. The prominent role of private operators in global business is evident from an analysis of international volumes. During the same period of time, post companies noted a 1.4% growth in international consignment volumes to a total of only 44 million items in 2007. Domestic mail increased somewhat thanks to advertising mail in particular.
Only weeks after mediation talks between the EU Commission and Slovakia broke down, the EU Commission has ruled that Slovakia must change its Postal Act again. The dispute concerns so-called hybrid post.
The Swedish government has clearly dismissed the demand from regulatory authority PTS that all apartment buildings in Sweden should have collective letterboxes by 2011 at the latest.
Last year was excellent in terms of business for Islandpostur HF. At 41.6m euros, the turnover went up by 10.6%. At the same time, the Icelandic post enjoyed a good operating result. By contrast, the approx. 1.5m euros net profit saw a 4.4% drop over a 12-month period. Islandpostur was only founded in 1998 from a division of the former post and telecommunications company.
British B2C parcel service Parcelnet, a subsidiary of the German mail order group Otto with a turnover of 255.7m euros (110 million consignments) now also offers international services.
Germany's public service union ver.di demands ten extra holidays per calendar year for the approx. 1,000 employees of DHL's sales and administrative divisions DHL Vertriebs GmbH & Co. OHG and DHL Verwaltungs GmbH.
TNT India plans to expand its existing network into smaller cities.
GLS, the European parcel network of Royal Mail, has opened a new and bigger service plant in the Paris region.
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.)
Thaindian News has reported that "India Post, the country's postal services, will start selling 24-carat gold coins through its post offices, the government announced here Wednesday. The coins will be available in over 100 post offices in Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat in the pilot phase, Minister for Communications and Information Technology A. Raja told reporters here. "We have initiated the process to commercialise the post offices and increase their visibility," Raja said. India Post has initiated the process in association with the World Gold Council and the Anil Ambani-headed financial services firm Reliance Money."
Federal Register: " Board of Governors; Sunshine Act Meeting Times and Dates: 2:30 p.m., Monday, October 20, 2008; and 8 a.m., Tuesday, October 21, 2008. Place: Memphis, Tennessee, at the Peabody Hotel, 149 Union Avenue. Status: (Closed). Matters to be Considered: Monday, October 20, at 2:30 p.m. (Closed) 1. Financial Matters. 2. Product Pricing. 3. Strategic Issues. 4. Personnel Matters and Compensation Issues. 5. Governors' Executive Session--Discussion of prior agenda items and Board Governance."
The Galveston Daily News has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service said Tuesday it would work with city officials to return full operations to the island quickly, acknowledging the inconvenience to island residents who have had to make the trek to La Marque to receive mail since Hurricane Ike. After an emphatic public plea from island Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas on Monday, U.S. Postal Service officials said they had begun discussions with city officials to return postal operations onto the island at the "earliest possible" date."
SmallBizTechnology has noted that "any paper you want scanned and stored online can be sent to Pixily via an envelope. The paper is scanned, stored online and returned to you (or you can opt to recycle it in a future version of Pixily). Once the documents are scanned by Pixily (or you upload digitized documents to Pixily) it does an optical character recognition on the documents, enabling you to search the full text of documents. You can also add labels or keywords to documents so that you can search for documents via categories you specify. The geek in me is thinking that with scanners there's no need for a service like Pixily. On the other hand scanning, especially a lot of documents takes time and not everyone may have a scanner, or the ability to properly categorize paper documents or a system to organize the digitized documents. Pixily serves this need."
Pushers Needed Postal Service's Inspector General Unveils "Pushing the Envelope" Blog. That's right. The Postal Service's Office of Inspector General is looking for pushers. No, not those kind of pushers. Pushers to help "push ideas" on their new blog, "Pushing the Envelope." The Postal Service OIG has ventured into the Blogosphere to become the first IG office to open up a public blog. Dipping into the toolbox of Web 2.0 applications, the OIG is blogging to reach and gather ideas from Postal Service and mailing industry stakeholders.
Please click below to view reports posted on the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General website (http://www.uspsoig.gov/). If you have additional questions concerning the report, please
contact Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.
The Office of USPS Inspector General has ventured into the Blogosphere, and they're inviting you to join them. Dipping into the toolbox of Web 2.0 applications, the OIG has launched the "Pushing the Envelope" Blog to better reach and gather ideas from you and other Postal Service and mailing industry stakeholders. The Blog will address relevant and timely issues and challenges confronting the Postal Service and will explore complex postal issues that are sometimes misunderstood. Participation will be open, but will require registration. However, you can post anonymously or with a pen name. All comments will reviewed to ensure no inappropriate comments are posted.
"Pushing the Envelope's" online discussions will open with the following discussion topics: Who We Are and Why We Blog Self-service Mail Technologies The OIG is also are interested in any topics you would like to have explored, with the ultimate goal of adding further value to the United States Postal Service. The Blog can be reached by clicking on the icon on the right of this page. For additional information click here.
Can the Postal Service save money by reducing its telecommunications expenses? To find out we audited its Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems to evaluate potential options. As background, the Postal Service uses 492 PBX systems at many of their larger facilities to route incoming calls to the local service provider. With input and guidance from the Headquarters Telecommunications staff, we determined the Postal Service could remove unnecessary voice lines, eliminate some PBX circuit cards that currently support these lines, and ultimately reduce its line monitoring services. We suggested including alerts to notify responsible officials when a potential overcapacity situation is developing. Management plans to address and take action on all of our recommendations by the year's end. We estimated the savings due to the changes would amount to $ 1.33 Million over a 2-year period. CLICK here to read the audit report.
Network World has reported that "The Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel) and the Zambia Postal Service have partnered to install a WAN (wide area network), which will link all post offices throughout Zambia to enhance operational efficiency. Once complete, the project is expected to bring improved Internet connectivity, wider Internet access, automation of counter operations and better financial monitoring and control to the Postal Service. The project will ease service delivery and minimize long queues for customers, explained Communications and Transport Minister Dora Siliya."
The Atlanta Business Chronicle has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc.'s charitable arm will hand out $1 million in five grants to environmental programs, the package shipper said Tuesday."
October 14, 2008
According to Financiarul.co.ro, " Romanian Post National Company (CNPR) officially opened (on Oct 9) 6 post offices in 5 cities in Spain where there are large Romanian communities, CNPR operational executive director Mihai Cristian Buciu told. "Part of these offices are already operational, but we want to open them officially on October 9, when the World Post Day is celebrated, and the inauguration is to start with the office in Valencia", said Buciu. The six CNPR postal offices in Spain will be opened in Barcelona, Valencia, Castellon and Mallaga (one each) and two in Madrid. He also stressed that, even though there are requests from other zones in Spain to open some postal offices, CNPR will not continue this year to expand on the Spanish territory."
The BBC has noted that "The Aberdeen suburb of Bieldside is to lose its post office, it has been announced. The branch was highlighted in a consultation on closures earlier this year, and had prompted a campaign from local residents to save it. Meanwhile the branch at Auchenblae in Aberdeenshire will be replaced by an outreach service based in a local shop, three days a week. The Post Office said the difficult decisions were not taken lightly."
According to Daily News Online, the Tanzanian Goverment is modernising postal services to meet the current world standards, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology, Dr Naomi Katunzi said in Dar es Salaam yesterday. Dr Katunzi said the government would provide postal offices with Information Communication Technology (ICT) facilities so that they may turn into information centres.The Permanent Secretary was speaking in Dar es Salaam on the occasion of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) Day yesterday.
According to MediaPost, "Despite the terabytes of paperless data transforming our lives, we're using more paper today than ever. A recent report from RISI Inc., a leading provider of news, forecasts and data in the global paper and pulp industry, shows virtually uninterrupted growth in paper usage worldwide. Global paper consumption - everything from tissues, books and newsprint, to the cardboard boxes that package millions of international imports - is projected to increase 60 percent in the next 15 years. The global population consumed roughly 368 million tons of paper products in 2005. RISI foresees that figure rising to 579 million tons by 2021, with much of the demand coming from Asia and India.
The Galveston Daily News has reported that " Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas is right. The U.S. Postal Service should come up with a plan that allows Galveston residents to pick up their mail in Galveston. The plan to have people from Galveston go to La Marque to pick up their mail was flawed from the beginning. Senior officials have been slow to respond to problems that occurred as a result. Postal service officials in Houston didn't seem to be aware of the long lines at the temporary office at the Gulfway Plaza at La Marque, at Interstate 45 and Delany Road. When complaints came up, about two weeks ago, about the lack of restrooms and the lack of seating for disabled and elderly people, officials in Houston seemed surprised. But not much has been done to address those problems."
From Busines Wire: "Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/ec1870/snapshots_india_po) has announced the addition of the "Snapshots India Postal Services 2008" report to their offering. Snapdatas Snapshots India Postal Services 2008 provides 2007 year-end market size data, with 2008 estimates, 5 years of historical data and five-year forecasts."
Financialrul has reported that "two international companies - Siemens and Elsag - part of Finmecanica - were qualified for the second stage of the bidding organized by the Romanian Post (CNPR) for the construction and modernization of the two transit postal centers in Bucharest and Cluj (center north-west), announced on October 9, in Valencia, CNPR operational executive director Mihai Cristian Buciu."
Hellmail has reported that "Despite a continuing global credit crisis, Deutsche Post says that letter mail prices within Germany will remain stable in 2009."
Multichannel Merchant has asked " Postal reform is the best thing that ever happened to direct mailers: True or false? Both answers are correct, depending on how you mail." And there is a whole lot of other information that needs to be considered as well."
Today, during his keynote address at the DMA 08 opening general session, DMA President and CEO John Greco announced the launch of DMAchoice.org, the newly expanded consumer choice portal site. DMAchoice empowers consumers to choose the communications they receive in the mail and enables marketing professionals to reach audiences with maximum efficiency. Additionally, DMAchoice is a strong argument we have against Do Not Mail legislation because it demonstrates the mailing community's attentiveness to consumer desires to manage their mailbox.
Computerworld has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. is testing a new ruggedized mobile computer in its trucks that can wirelessly log departure and arrival times and provide managers with data on vehicle speed and idle times. Test versions of Motorola Inc.'s VC6096 Windows Mobile-based system, unveiled last week, have been installed inside long-haul UPS trailer trucks and large trucks that move packages among sorting facilities. A spokeswoman wouldn't say how many of the computers Atlanta-based UPS plans to buy, but she noted that it will be a "sizable" number by the time the company's deployment is completed, which is expected in 2010."
Shipping Digest Exporter has reported that "U.S. manufactured exports in August were up 15 percent over August 2007, and for the first eight months of the year they are up 16 percent over the same period last year, according to the National Association of Manufacturers."
October 13, 2008
FedEx Freight has significantly improved its service by offering next-business-day coverage between key Canadian gateway cities and several regions across the U.S. In addition, the company is further supporting shippers and customers operating fast-cycle logistics by streamlining cross-border processes. FedEx Freight is a leading provider of regional next-business-day, second-business-day and extended LTL freight transportation services and an operating company of FedEx Corp.
AllAfrica.Com wants to know "When was the last time you sent a social letter by post? The Saturday Nation set out to find out if Kenyans still use the post office for any other reason than receiving bills and bank statements, especially in this era of electronic mail and the mobile phone text messaging."
Business Daily Africa has reported that "Postal Corporation of Kenya is opening opportunities for investors as it seeks individuals to run some of its branches on a franchise basis."
Hellmail has reported that "Ed Mayo, Head of Consumer Focus, the new body that took over from Energywatch and Postwatch has told the Daily Mail that he thought Royal Mail had let down its customers by shifting deliveries so late in the day, many businesses, particularly those in rural areas, are often unable to respond to letters the same day."
PostCom has been told that "more and more facilities are reducing their drop ship receiving hours or, as in the case of BMC Greensboro this weekend (see second email), shutting down completely due to financial considerations. This is a troubling growing trend. If the USPS is trying to cut costs by reducing services they will lose more volume."
October 10, 2008
The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
Press Release: " Hispanic Business magazine has again named the U.S. Postal Service to its annual “Diversity Elite 60” list of best companies for Hispanics, the only federal agency included in the magazine’s 2008 list. The rankings are determined by more than 30 variables that measure companies’ commitment to Hispanic hiring, promotion, marketing, philanthropy and supplier diversity."
Transport Intelligence has reported that "Austrian Post has acquired 24VIP Logistics Services d.o.o., a parcel service provider in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a continuation of its expansion in Central and Eastern Europe.'
Federal Register: The Postal Regulatory Commission is noticing a recently-filed Postal Service Global Expedited Package Services 1 negotiated service agreement. This action is consistent with changes in a recent law governing postal operations. Comments are due October 14, 2008. Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. For further information contact: Stephen L. Sharfman, General Counsel, 202-789-6820 and email@example.com.
From PR Newswire: "Deutsche Post World Net has announced the appointment of Joe Phelan to the position of Chief Executive Officer of DHL Global Mail, effective October 1, 2008. Phelan was selected to lead DHL Global Mail after serving for more than two years as President & CEO of the company's Americas business division."
The Citizen has reported that "Tanzania postal services can be improved more if modern means of communication are applied, Postmaster General Deos Mndeme has said. The government needs to establish the use of mobile phones in the Post Office in order to widen those services," he further noted. The government is on the process of buying out Post Office debts so that the corporation loses weight and resumes a competitive conduct of service provision. He mentioned some of the challenges that the postal sector is facing as globalisation, liberalisation, increasing competition from new services and technologies and the Extraterritorial Offices of Exchange (ETOEs) which require solid policy and regulatory actions to address them."
The Kodiak Daily Mirror has reported that "A new and possibly cheaper shipping option is now available to Alaskans through a recently formed Colorado company called Aloha Forwarding. Aloha aims to cut down on United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx shipping costs. If an Alaskan or Hawaiian orders a product online and United States Postal Service (USPS) shipping – generally the cheapest option – is not available, the package can be sent to Aloha Forwarding in Denver, Colo. Aloha Forwarding will then forward the package to Alaska or Hawaii via the U.S. Postal Service. The company also is an option if a merchant won’t ship to Hawaii or Alaska."
According to CIO, "When it came to a major overhaul of its business operations, the company allowed leadership of the initiative to migrate from one executive to another as the project moved to different phases. In the midst of it all, Jim McDade found himself in the role of prime contractor."
The Indian Press Information Bureau has reported that the " Department of Posts has switched over to electronic transmission of Money Order from today that will make remittance much faster. Electronic Money Order would also provide more efficient and improved quality of service to customers. These will come without any extra cost to the customer. To begin with, around 2500 Post Offices all over the country have switched over to electronic transmission of money orders. Electronic Money Order would also reduce transmission of vouchers from one place to another and provide for centralized information system on the money order service. The initiative is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to make a difference in the Post Office operations and make it a window to the world for the common man."
The Standard has reported that "A study by the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) projects a Sh1.4 billion growth by 2012 in the postal sector. The sector, says the report, attracted Sh806 million investments by close of last year due to increased investor confidence. The size of the postal/courier market had grown to Sh6.6 billion last year up from Sh4.1 billion in 2002 with over 130 operators licensed by the regulator. The study says stiff competition has forced players to improve delivery of services."
October 9, 2008
Today, posts around the world join with the Universal Postal Union in observing "World Postal Day."
DMM Advisory: The latest DMM Advisory from the U.S. Postal Service has been posted on this site. This advisory concerns: Intelligent Mail Tray Labels and Container Placards; Priority Mail Commercial Base Pricing; Express Mail Corporate Accounts; Parcel Select Markings; Labeling Lists.
Hellmail has reported that "Some might say it has been a long time coming, but with WH Smith now partnering with DHL, consumers might be seeing some real competition in the UK postal market."
PRWeek has reported that "The US Postal Service (USPS) issued an RFP on October 2 for a contractor to provide strategic messaging services to the media, the general public, and postal employees. The deadline for proposals is November 5."
Quqnoos has reported that "since 1928, when postal services were first introduced to the country, Afghanistan has developed its postal system, with more than 460 nationwide post offices, 10,000 post boxes and seven privately owned postal companies. On Thursday, the world celebrated International Post Office Day, whcih served as a reminder of how far the country's postal system had come since 2001. Afghanistan’s postal service was destroyed during the Soviet Invasion and the following years of civil war. But,in the past six years, the postal service has been revived, a spokesman for the Communication Ministry, Abdulhadi Hadi, said. Hadi said the government had made about Afg52 million from its postal service in the first six months of the year, a figure up 30% on the same time last year. The ministry hopes to double this figure by the end of the year."
Dow Jones has reported that "Chunghwa Post Co., Taiwan's state-run postal service, said Thursday it booked a NT$592 million loss on the disposal of NT$767 million worth of commercial paper issued by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH)."
According to The Baltic Course, "Although the postal market that will be opened in Estonia in three months will make it possible for all postal enterprises deliver letters of up to 50 grams to recipients, Eesti Post (Estonian Post) will continue dominating the market."
PrintWeek has reported that "The direct mail industry has welcomed Royal Mail's latest initiative to offer discounts to environmentally friendly wholesale customers. Last week, the postal service announced new measures under which businesses can qualify for discounts of up to 0.7p for each item mailed via its downstream access."
The Azeri Press Agency has reported that "Azeri Post may switch to a joint stock company in 3-5 years, said Novruz Mammadov, Director of the Unit. Azeri Post is a state-owned postal network unit under the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies. He added that the World Bank recommended privatization of Azeri Post while this issue is not on agenda now. “Azeri Post may also switch to a joint stock company because postal authority has this legal status in some countries. Only 3-4 countries privatized postal service,” he added."
Lanka Business online has reported that "Sri Lanka’s DFCC Vardhana Bank has struck a deal with
Sri Lanka Post to use its post offices to reach more banking customers which also helps the government postal agency to cut
|Congratulations to Kate Muth, former PostCom vice president, on her receiving the "PostCom Chairman's Achievement Appreciation Award" at this week's PostCom board meeting in recognition of the excellent service she rendered to the association and its members. The award was presented by PostCom Chairman Jim O'Brien.|
The Economic Times has reported that "E-commerce and advertising have buoyed postal services even though international letter-post has fallen in the past five years, the Unive rsal Postal Union said on Thursday. Domestic parcel volumes rose 7.9 per cent in the five years between 2002 and 2007 to reach 6.5 billion items, the UPU said in a statement to mark World Post Day, with international volumes up 1.4 per cent over the same period to reach 44 million items. "The increases are thought to be due in part to the growth of e-commerce, with the majority of online purchases still remaining within borders, " the Bern-based organisation said. Domestic letter-post grew 0.3 per cent over the five years to 433 billion pieces, with advertising mail accounting for around 30 per cent. However, international letter-post fell 2.6 per cent with a volume of 5.5 billion items in 2007, due to "stiff competition from new technologies".
The Daily Nation has reported that "Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) has been put on notice to either adopt technology or risk being run out of the market by more innovative competitors. The challenge, coming from the industry’s regulator Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK), is how PCK can use technology to leverage its position as a market leader by introducing new offerings. “PCK should take advantage of (the upcoming) fibre optic cable to upgrade it service delivery and introduce new products,” said CCK director of frequency spectrum management, Stanley Kibe. He was speaking on behalf of CCK director-general during an occasion to mark World Post Day celebrations on Thursday. Among the convectional products that PCK offers are mail and financial services through it wide network."
According to the Manila Bulletin, "In a highly competitive international environment, postal services provide companies and individuals with ready access to both domestic and international markets, and is a key facilitator of trade between countries and regional blocs."
UPS Freight has announced the final phase of its 2008 network enhancements, speeding up transit schedules on more than 1,900 traffic lanes in eight western states.
The UNI-Europa Post & Logistic Committee has passed a resolution about the plans by the European Commission to alter the Amendments made to the Slovak Postal Service Act on Hybrid Mail. The Committee has sent it's concerns about interference by the Commission in the Slovak Republics postal market when the implementation of the 3rd Postal Directive still needs to be properly discussed and debated with all parties including the union.
October 8, 2008
CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
A power struggle has erupted at boardroom level within Schweizerische Post. Quoting company sources, weekly »Sonntagszeitung« (05.10.) reported that Claude Béglé, the designated president of the administrative board, wants to assume the role of CEO, too. He has thus managed to alienate the existing management, despite officially having been in his position since 1 October only. According to the paper, Mr Béglé has entered into an open struggle for power.
Apparently, a lot more than the so far announced number of 2,500 post offices at Royal Mail are threatened with closure. This is caused by plans by the Department for Education and Employment not to extend the contract for the so-called Post Office Card Account (POCA) beyond 2010. According to media reports, the POCA is "vital" to many branches, as card holders - of which there are 4 million in Britain - can only use their card at post offices and not with other banks or retailers.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has ruled out privatisation of La Poste.
Swiss publishing houses NZZ and Tamedia announced that they would turn to Schweizerische Post for early morning delivery of their publications in future.
China’s State Council discussed and approved the 10th draft for a new postal act, which had been presented in the summer (CEP News 26/08). Chaired by Prime Minister Jiabao Wen, the State Council was also said to have decided to put the draft before the Standing Committee of China’s legislative body, the National People’s Congress. Details of the new draft have not yet been revealed.
The banking crisis in Europe is now clearly affecting the postal market.
Market observers are convinced that FedEx is suffering losses from its Chinese domestic operations.
In the Chinese express market persistent rumour claims that DHL Sinotrans is preparing to take over STO Express.
The economic depression could slow down 2009 growth rates in the Austrian parcel market considerably.
TNT, which became market leader in Brazil following the takeover of Mercurio last year (CEP News 02/07), intends to introduce a new express product linking the biggest South American market with its neighbours Argentina, Uruguay and Chile.
The Finnish post Itella will be using the automated parcel terminals installed by SmartPost in Estonia in future.
The ailing US economy is now hitting FedEx workers, too. The integrator has laid off 200 employees - 100 of them in Texas alone - prematurely. All the lost jobs are within the FedEx Office division, which intends to close 20 of its 2,000 branches in the USA. In addition, 17 international branches will be closing, thus wiping out nearly all FedEx Office locations in the Netherlands, Australia and Mexico.
The Postal Corporation of Kenya intends to automate almost half of its branches in a bid to increase efficiency and communication between post offices.
March next year will show a reshuffle at Deutsche Post´s head of corporate communications.
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.)
Union Network International has reported that "US postal workers are being encouraged to give the US Postal Services marketing department, new leads to business in a cooperative effort to try and boost postal revenues. Workers who know their jobs depend on high volumes of mail are being encouraged to "submit a lead" to the USPS marketing department when they encounter potential customers in their daily lives. If for example they are ordering some goods on the Internet and they don't have an option to choose that the goods are delivered by the USPS, they are encouraged to pass on that "lead" to the marketing department to follow up and see if it will generate more postal business. One of UNI's US affiliates, the NPMHU, has joined with the USPS in rolling out a programme to their members to be part of the "Submit A Lead" campaign to help the USPS boost revenues in the very difficult economic environment."
The Jamaica Gleaner has reported that "Brian Goldson, chairman of the Postal Corporation of Jamaica, says despite the introduction of the BlackBerry and email, the postman remains a relevant and essential link in the communications chain. Speaking yesterday during the Postman's Award presentation, in recognition of World Post Week at the Central Sorting Office on South Camp Road in Kingston, Goldson said the postman and the Jamaica Postal service can never be replaced."
The Western Mail has reported that "the number of badly addressed letters and packets handled by the Royal Mail is set to reach 25 million since the start of the year. Around 600,000 items of mail are so badly addressed or packaged every week that they cannot be delivered, with thousands just having a name with no address. Undeliverable mail is sent to a special centre in Belfast, where “letter detectives” try to identify the correct recipient and forward the items on. John McAleer, head of the National Return Letter Centre, said: “In the majority of cases the item will have been incompletely addressed or not at all."
Reuters has reported that "High fuel costs and uncertainty over the U.S. economy's outlook are among the top concerns of logistics and U.S. trucking companies, according to two surveys."
October 7, 2008
According to Media Buyer Planner, "Magazine publishers face a disheartening array of challenges in the coming year - that has been the consensus so far of executives at the American Magazine Conference taking place this week in San Francisco. The current financial crisis is certain to have an impact on ad budgets, magazines are facing postal and paper cost increases, and newsstand sales are uncertain as stores limit checkout and mainline display space and consumers reduce spending, writes Mediaweek."
Press Release: "As part of its continued commitment to sustainable business practices, UPS has announced its participation in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Leaders program. UPS is the first shipping company to join the program."
Tlačová agentúra Slovenskej republiky has reported that "The decision of the European Commission (EC) on Tuesday that Slovakia must re-open its market in the field of hybrid post services is a great disappointment for the Slovak Post Office, Slovak Post said later that day in its reaction. The whole case is, according to the Slovak Post spokesman Juraj Danielis, the result of a series of unfortunate developments."
Press Release: "FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and the world’s largest express transportation company, announced today the start of operations for FedEx Express Nacional, a domestic overnight service in Mexico, and the opening of the Toluca Hub Multiplex, its new center of operations for domestic shipments. The service covers all 32 Mexican states with the support of two new centers of operations in Toluca (Multiplex) and San Luis Potosi, the latter to open in early 2009.
Press Release: "For leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from its freight operations, commercial printer Quad/Graphics has received its third consecutive Environmental Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWaySM Transport Partnership."
Professional Pensions has reported that "A review into the structure of the postal industry will determine the future of the Royal Mail Pension Scheme, the Communication Workers Union says."
The Liverpool Echo has reported that "Union representatives stepped in to stop a strike by engineers at Liverpool’s Copperas Hill sorting office."
Federal Register: The Postal Regulatory Commission is noticing a recently-filed Postal Service request to add Priority Mail Contract 1 to the Competitive Product List. The Postal Service has also filed a related contract. The notice addresses procedural steps associated with these filings. Comments are due October 9, 2008. Submit comments electronically via the Commission's Filing Online system at http://www.prc.gov. For further information contact: Stephen L. Sharfman, General Counsel, 202-789-6820 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Armenian News Network has reported that "New advanced postal services are to be introduced in Armenia, the country's Premier Tigran Sargsyan said at the opening of the second Armenian Technology Congress (ArmTech). These services will be accessible in every village of the country, he said."
According to Baltic Business News, the "Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs has shortlisted five state enterprises for partial privatization. The five are port landlord Port of Tallinn, power company Eesti Energia, postal company Eesti Post, Tallinn Airport and Estonian Railways’ freight business.
The Guardian has reported that "European Union antitrust regulators ordered Slovakia on Tuesday to reopen competition in its postal sector, ruling that recent legal changes violated EU rules on dominant market positions, the EU executive said."
Direct magazine has reported that "Direct marketers are making deep cuts in their hiring plans for the remainder of 2008, according to a survey by Bernhart Associates. According to the survey, 31% of companies responding said they plan to add to headcount during the fourth quarter, down sharply from 47% last quarter. Hiring freezes spiked to 34%, compared with 20% during the summer. The percentage of companies planning layoffs rose to 17%, also a new high for the survey and up from 12% last quarter. “Every one of our major employment indicators showed significant declines compared with summer and now stand at their lowest levels since the survey began eight years ago.” said Jerry Bernhart, owner of the Owatonna, WI search firm."
Moneynews.com has reported that "FedEx CEO Fred Smith says the economy is stronger than most people realize, and that mountains of cash is "on the sidelines" in emerging markets, waiting to be invested. Asked in an interview what it would take to turn around the U.S. economy as the credit crisis unfolds, Smith, who founded the global freight carrier, said things in the real economy are not that bad."
Wisconsin Radio has reported that "Milwaukee is now the first city in the nation to have safe havens for postal carriers. A series of violent incidents has prompted officials to launch a three-month pilot program starting Monday on the city's south side. Carriers who get hurt or threatened can flee to specially marked home or a business. Since April, five mail carriers have almost been caught in gunfire. Other workers have gotten pelted with sticks and rocks and one was even punched in the face."
October 6, 2008
The Allentown Morning Call is warning of yet another online scam that mimics emails coming from one of the express carriers.
Traffic World has reported that "DHL Express is cutting back its U.S. operations more deeply than earlier announced as it copes with a troubled American economy. DHL also says it is speeding up the cutbacks it had been planning, putting its cost-saving efforts on a more urgent track and prompting suggestions from some industry observers that even greater cuts in DHL's presence in the United States are on the way." See also Journal of Commerce.
According to The Telegraph, "MPs are expected to join engineering workers who maintain Royal Mail sites across the country in a protest outside Parliament today."
The Guardian has reported that "Royal Mail is spending £9m on its first brand campaign in three years in a bid to get UK businesses to use its services despite the economic downturn. The ad campaign, which breaks tonight, will tell businesses that they can achieve growth by linking up with Royal Mail. Royal Mail's ad, "Grow", features a mixture of stop-frame animation, live action and CGI techniques to tell the stories of five different businesses growing."
The Press has reported that "Royal Mail intends to stop processing second class post in York – sparking fears for the long-term future of the city’s sorting office and more than 350 jobs."
The Liverpool Echo has reported that "Liverpool’s Copperas Hill sorting centre was at near standstill today after Royal Mail engineers mounted a picket line. They said the day-long walk-out was a protest against changes to their working contracts. Postal sorting workers belonging to the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which includes the engineers, refused to cross the picket line." See also Channel 4 News, the BBC, and The Press Association.
Zawya has reported that "Motorola, Inc technology was evaluated by Qatar Post as part of a wider initiative to measure the quality of postal services throughout the Middle East. Motorola radio frequency identification (RFID) readers and other technology suppliers, were part of the trial in a joint project with Emirates Post and Saudi Post."
The Jamaica Observer has reported that "Jamaica's Postal Service is being affected by the financial meltdown in the United States as Jamaicans there cut back on sending parcels to the island, according to Postmaster General Michael Gentles."
Nation News has reported that "Barbadians have been told not to undervalue the Postal Service which has given substantial and valuable contributions to our society over the past 156 years." See also the Barbados Advocate.
According to Hellmail, "There are growing fears that the contract for the card account, currently held by the Post Office and used by many in the UK to recieve benefit, state pensions and tax credit payments, could be awarded to Paypoint, and force a bigger wave of post office closures than the existing 2,500 already being shut down across the UK." See also The Telegraph.
According to one writer for the New York Times, "America’s financial landscape is changing before our eyes. The absorption of major Wall Street investment banks by commercial banks threatens to create colossal universal banks that are too big to fail and might need to be bailed out in the future. Meanwhile, the structure of public and private finance in the United States chronically fails to address four problems: the almost 10 percent of Americans without a bank account; the concerns of all Americans about the security of their savings; the growing indebtedness of the country to foreign governments and financial institutions; and underinvestment in public assets like sewer systems and bridges. These four problems may seem unrelated. But they can be addressed in the United States, as they have been in similar countries, by a single institution that is at once new and old: the postal savings bank."
October 5, 2008
Bangladesh News 24 has reported that "The cabinet Sunday gave the go-ahead to plans for private postal operators to be regulated by law, a government spokesman said. "Certain sections of the 1889 Post Office Act are being amended to bring the private postal operators under the law," press secretary Syed Fahim Munaim said. "Immediately after vetting by the law ministry the proposed ordinance will be presented before the cabinet again for final approval."
From Europa: "A Speech by European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Charles McGreevy on the new Postal Directive. The Postcomm Forum – What next for the postal market?
Air Cargo World has reported that:
Addressing the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, DHL CEO John Mullen cited constraints on foreign investment in U.S. airlines as a reason for the express operator's $3 billion losses since 2003. Currently, U.S. law limits foreign ownership of American air carriers to a 49% equity interest and a 25% voting interest and with DHL losing $5 million a day Mullen said the situation had become "unsustainable." In an attempt to integrate the unusual structure of DHL - U.S. ownership of the domestic lift and foreign control of the international operations - Deutsche Post World Net (DPWN) acquired DHL International in 2002 and Airborne Express in 2003. In order to comply with U.S. law, DHL was then required to divest itself of Airborne's air operations (ABX), leaving DHL Express to operate ground operations only in the U.S.
Is theRussian market destined to become one of the bright spots in air cargo over the coming year or two? Certainly at a time when even such growth engines as China and India are showing signs of faltering, the 31.6 percent rise in air cargo traffic (measured in freight tonne kilometres) recorded by Russian official statistics in the five months to May looks enticing. Fuelled by the high oil price, Russia's GDP also grew at 8.5 percent over the period.
The Akron Beacon Journal has reported that "Powerful political leaders are trying to block United Parcel Service from providing air cargo services for its rival DHL. These opponents, who fear the loss of jobs and competition, have spurred two congressional hearings and secured the support of both presidential candidates. Still, the UPS-DHL agreement, announced in May, remains on track to close this year. Atlanta-based UPS' giant's deftness at deflecting criticism highlights its clout on Capitol Hill, where it has long-standing relationships."
Stars and Stripes has reported that "Predictions that the Internet would spell the end of the U.S. Postal Service are being proved wrong every day in American military communities abroad. It might be true that e-mail has cut down on personal letters, military postal officials say, but online purchases have more than made up for that. Especially when it comes to volume. The U.S. military delivered 225 million pounds of mail overseas in fiscal year 2006 — setting a record."
October 4, 2008
The Morning Sun has reported that "According to Richard Watkins, a spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service's Mid-America district, the change in mail processing is a way of utilizing the "state-of-the-art mail process" system in Kansas City."
The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
October 3, 2008
The Liverpool Daily Post has reported that "a last ditch effort to persuade the Royal Mail to stay in Liverpool and build one of its three new North West distribution centres in the city has failed. The company has announced that none of the options put forward by regeneration agency Liverpool Vision for sites in the north and the south of the city met its conditions because they were too expensive. Royal Mail said it was cheaper to transfer work from Crewe and Liverpool to an existing centre in Warrington, than construct a new building in Liverpool."
Logistics Management has reported that "In the latest sign of ongoing problems in the United States, DHL Express USA this week has terminated roughly 80-to-90 percent—or hundreds—of its domestic sales force staffers, LM has learned. According to an industry source, DHL Express USA will retain somewhere between 80-to-150 U.S.-based sales staff that will now be referred to as “international” sales representatives. While DHL would not directly confirm the sales staff layoffs, its press office said in an e-mail that since May 28 it has made certain workforce reductions in line with the restructuring of its network, adding that it “remains committed to the U.S. market and to finalizing [its] pending agreement with UPS.”
The Register has reported that "Cybercrooks have used the latest version of Neosploit to booby-trap an estimated 80,000 legitimate sites with malicious code. Victims of the attack include government, Fortune 500, and a weapons manufacturing firm, according to Ian Amit, director of security research at Aladdin Knowledge Systems. Amit said victims of the attack included the US Postal Service, which has since cleaned up its act."
Postal Regulatory Commissioner Ruth Goldway has had her reappointment to the Commission confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
As DM News has noted, "Some of the catalog industry's major players stood last week in support of mail preference service Catalog Choice, including Wil liams-Sonoma, Orchard Brands, LL Bean and Crate & Barrel. The kudos come barely a year after the service launched with a less-than-friendly reception from the industry. The Direct Marketer's Association also made its own mail preference news last week, as word got out that it's planning an upgrade of its DMAChoice mail preference service at its annual conference next month. “Catalogers should make it easy for consumers to express their mail preferences — that's a fundamental responsibility,” said Pat Connolly, EVP and CMO for Williams-Sonoma Inc., adding that, while DMAChoice is one option, he believes there is a need for another. Catalog Choice also received the endorsement of industry group American Catalog Mail ers Association this week. ACMA created a task force last fall to investigate the growing number of mail preference services and is now asking catalogers to include Catalog Choice in their efforts to execute mail preference."
Computerworld has reported that "Several criminal gangs have acquired administrative log-in credentials for more than 200,000 Web sites -- including the one used by the U.S. Postal Service -- and have used the compromised domains to attack unsuspecting users' PCs with a notorious hacker exploit kit."
Word has it from a number of postal sources that the USPS has cooled to the idea of exploring any future market-dominant NSAs. The time and resources individual NSAs have consumed reportedly has been significant. Sources say that the one area the USPS may choose to explore are niches, i.e., product groups in which many customers, rather than only one customer, would qualify.
According to the American Chronicle, "American industries are subject to anti-trust laws which prohibit the formation of monopolies and leave open the door to fair competition. However, those laws do not apply to the Postal Service. That orgainzation survives because of federal regulations which protect their monopoly on First Class mail. These laws provide an unfair advantage over private sector competitors, thus assuring lower standards in their operations."
Hellmail has asked: "Are Royal Mail Cuts Going To Far? Seems a reasonable enough question with so much talk of extended walks and fewer opportunities for full-time workers. Royal Mail has been under continual pressure over the last couple of years to reduce costs partly through a changing business, pressure from competitors and indeed the regulator to slash operating costs. People are certainly leaving the business, and around 80% of those I used to have regular contact with at Royal Mail have since left and/or found other jobs in entirely different industries so the pressure is real enough."
The National Association of Major Mail Users has reported that:
Hundreds of written submissions have been made to the Canada Post Strategic Review Advisory Panel by members of the public, industry, unions, and key stakeholders According to information released by Minister Cannon’s office, this input will be considered along with the work undertaken by the Panel in formulating its report. NAMMU members were provided copies of the Association’s brief in mid-September – a brief that reflected recent NAMMU membership research. The Panel’s report is due in December 2008. To access all written submissions: www.cpcstrategicreview.gc.ca To access Canada Post’s submission: www.canadapost.ca/aboutus/pdf/sr-e.pdf.
In a remarkable step forward to meet business needs, Canada Post and NAMMU have co-operatively developed a consultation framework for Incentive Lettermail. Chief Operating Officer, Jacques Cote; GM, Product Development and Management Lettermail, Michael Badour; and NAMMU President, Kathleen Rowe, met following the July 24th NAMMU Transaction Mail Council meeting, and agreed a series of consultation steps and timelines that NAMMU members stated as fundamental to their business planning needs. Implementation will require goodwill and flexibility, much of which was evident at the September 26th Transaction Mail Council meeting. For more information, contact the NAMMU Media Group.
The Washington Post has reported that "Here's another sad sign of our economic times: Never before has the U.S. Postal Service laid off workers. Now, it's a real possibility. "For the first time in history, that is being considered," said Gerald McKiernan, a USPS spokesman."
As the MediaDailyNews put it: "If the first digital decade was about personalization and individual control, then prepare for a decade of mobile innovations that bring technology to new levels of involvement. Geo-location through GPS, near field communication (NFC) and the next generation of embedded sensors on handheld devices will add a new layer of passive user feedback to the media and marketing loop. This time it's not just personal: It's getting intimate. Prepare to cuddle your media."
In a meeting between PostCom and USPS, mailers' concerns about how MERLIN will be used to verify move update compliance was discussed. The USPS indicated that while MERLIN will be used to sample pieces and obtain the name/address information, that data then will be transmitted and validated through its NCSC channels and address databases. The USPS is not planning to attempt to have address databases reside in the MERLIN equipment, which was a significant concern raised by PostCom and others because of the complexities of move update compliance methodologies which could not be adequately handled by MERLIN.
UPDATE:Attendants at the Postal Service's IMb University have been told that fall 2009 is when the a new price option for full IMb service will be implemented. The price may vary by mail category. These are expected to be announced in February 2009
According to the Reading Evening Post, "Postal voting is a lot more complicated than turning up at a polling booth and making your cross."
The Universal Postal Union has noted that:
Innovation is an essential element in planning and preparing for the future. Being innovative is the only way the postal sector can remain competitive," said Edouard Dayan, Director General of the Universal Postal Union, as the organization's World Postal Business Forum opened today in London, England, during POST-EXPO 2008.
Posts have about 500 days left to grasp the opportunities being offered to them by e-commerce, estimates James ROPER, head of a global e-retail intelligence firm based in the United Kingdom. Speaking at the UPU's World Postal Business Forum, which ended yesterday in London as part of POST-EXPO 2008, Roper said e-retailing represented a "huge opportunity" and deplored Posts' "inertia" in responding to this immense challenge.
According to France24, "The French national postal service is offering staff training in “eco-driving”. The idea: to save up to 20% in fuel costs by driving at a regular pace and avoiding sudden accelerations or brutal braking. Among the new rules that trainees will have to follow are driving in fourth gear in the city and cutting the engine at stops of more than 12 seconds. These simple rules can help save energy but also cut carbon emissions. With the help of such training programs, the company hopes to cut its carbon emissions by 10,000 cubic tons by 2009."
Dominican Today has noted that "The Dominican Postal Institute (Inposdom) director Modesto Guzman yesterday handed over 150 motorcycles to facilitate the daily work done by postal workers. Guzman said these motorcycles were a promise, and noted that the new work tool will accelerate the pickup and delivery for Postal users and also puts it at the forefront."
Business Day has reported that "Postal Corporation of Kenya is automating its branches to inject efficiency into its operations as it looks to grow its financial services division. The corporation plans to automate its back office operations in 340 post offices out of a branch network of 700 branches countrywide. Posta targets with the computerisation the strength to have “good to excellent communication between branches,” forming a backbone for other firms to leverage on its branch network." See also the report by Daily Nation.
AllAfrica.com has reported that "The former Member of Parliament (MP) of the Ahanta West Constituency, Mr. Sylvester K. Kwofie, has underscored the need for postal services in the area to be strengthened."
According to The Hindu, "The Postal and Railway Mail service divisions have announced to start a postal logistics service from Tirupati to Chennai. The service, to be offered in both directions, will be of great use to the small traders of Tirupati, Renigunta, Puttur, Nagari, Tiruthani and Tiruvallur en route, as it comes at an affordable cost. Further, the postal staff will also assist the customers in the pre-pickup and pre-delivery of the goods."
Hellmail has reported that:
According to survey by the National Institute of Estadística (INE), around 14% of immigrants living in spain, send money to their country of origin through Correos, the Spanish postal operator. Correos recently signed agreements with the post offices of Uruguay, Chile and Morocco to offer a new urgent international money order service. This study looked at the frequency and the methods more used by immigrants to send money abroad and 13.8% of those asked confirmed that they habitually send money to their country of origin via Correos.
The importance of mail to business users features strongly in the 2008 Business Customer Survey, just published by Postcomm, the independent regulator of postal services. Almost half of the survey’s respondents regard mail as a ‘core activity’ of their business, and a further 31 per cent say it is critical for communication with their customers. Only 17 per cent report that mail is used simply for administrative purposes. This year almost a quarter of respondents said they were using more than one provider of mail services. The effect of electronic communication on the postal market – and ways in which the internet and mail complement each other – are clearly demonstrated in Postcomm’s annual review of the postal market, the 2008 Competitive Market Review, also published today.
The media companies NZZ Group and Tamedia are planning to transfer their early delivery services for newspapers and magazines to Swiss Post. Swiss Post, the NZZ Group and Tamedia signed a letter of intent for this new venture on 26 September 2008. Swiss Post also intends to sell a majority share in the Internet portal search.ch to Tamedia. As a result, the three companies are in a better position to concentrate on their core business.
One of the GovExec.com blogs noted that "Just yesterday, we published an Associated Press report on how Postal Service volunteers may step up to distribute antibiotics in the event of a future anthrax attack. Apparently, at least one postal carrier already has a head start in drug distribution -- and is paying the price for it. The Beaverton, Ore., Valley Times reports that Ronald Richard Berkan has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for selling marijuana on his route. Berkan also had to resign from the Postal Service after nearly 15 years of service and had to forfeit $3,000 of the money he made peddling weed. Berkan's dope distribution scheme apparently went on for years, and he had at least one customer who was under 21."
October 2, 2008
DMM Advisory: The Pricing and Classification Service Center (PCSC) is now open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. The PCSC administers the National Customer Rulings program, handles mailer appeals of local decisions, and processes applications for Periodicals and nonprofit mailing privileges. To find out more about the PCSC, please visit Postal Explorer (pe.usps.com) and click on “PCSC” in the left column.
As the Washington Post put it: "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor bioterrorism attack stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds -- especially if they are delivering antibiotics to protect people from anthrax. That may someday become the unofficial motto of the U.S. Postal Service." See also United Press International.
According to Transport News Network, "Although the recent credit crunch and resulting economic uncertainty are affecting the growth potential of the European express industry, the main effects will be on the use of different modes of transport and profitability rather than on overall levels of parcel volumes. Indeed, supply chain rationalization, internationalization and business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce are continuing to drive industry growth."
The Kitchener Record has reported that "A national strike vote is underway for some Canada Post workers, but the Crown corporation says delivery of services isn't threatened. Voting started yesterday by the 2,100 administrative and technical workers represented by the Union of Postal Communications Employees. "These employees don't touch the mail," said company spokesperson John Caines. Voting continues until Oct. 17."
From Canada NewsWire: "Canada Post employees demonstrated in Montreal on Monday in a show of protest against their employer's latest contract offer. The workers are members of the Union of Postal Communications Employees (UPCE) - a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) ."
Hellmail has noted that "postal operators & courier services could soon start increasing prices after DHL Express Europe today announced a general rate increase of 4-5%, due to take effect on December 1, 2008. The increase is in line with overall European inflation figures and has "become necessary amid rising operating costs" it said. It is thought that inflation and higher fuel costs are hitting postal operators and couriers hard and the annoucement by DHL signals a move to reduce losses through rising operating costs. Many state-owned postal services have fixed prices for domestic post, but business mail and parcels could see similar rises over the next few months."
Net4now has noted that "L-Mail, the online, on-demand letter printing/posting service operating from nearly 30 global locations has made sending automated letters from web systems that little bit easier with the launch of its new open source web module."
According to The Guardian, "Some blame this banking crisis on greed; others on supine regulators. But there is a small, hardy band that defend the sub-prime mess as an attempt to make finance more democratic. The goal of widening access to finance should not be abandoned. The good news is that Britain already has an institution that could do this, and it is as far from high finance as Macclesfield is from Manhattan. It's called the Post Office."
The Florida Baptist Witness has noted that "Over the past 17 years, thousands of Christian American and Chinese middle and high school students have exchanged letters through Christian Corresponders. Recently, program sponsors, Fellowship of Baptist Educators, affiliated with the International Mission Board, announced a move from “pencil and paper” to e-mail."
October 1, 2008
The U.S. Postal Service has posted the following documents associated with its updated strategic plan (Vision 2013) on its web site:
From Business Wire: "http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/adca58/courier_express has announced the addition of the "Courier & Express Services Market Report 2008" report to their offering. In 2007, the total value of the UK postal and courier/express services market increased by 4.9% to GBP14.9bn. National post is the largest sector, but its value remained virtually static between 2006 and 2007. Other courier and express services is the growth sector and, in 2007, its value increased by 13.4%. The market for courier and express services is defined as the business sector that supplies the need for rapid collection and delivery of documents and packages, including the services provided by the national post. Items covered by this definition include mail, parcels and other items with a high value-to-weight ratio and a time-sensitive delivery requirement."
In his most recent communication to his employees, Postmaster General Jack Potter said that "as we begin fiscal year 2009, I want to take a moment to thank you for your accomplishments over the last year and to talk about the challenges we face in the new fiscal year. We just closed the books on a year of remarkable customer service and delivery performance, coupled with significant cost savings. Our successes were only possible because of your dedication and commitment to carrying out our core mission to provide universal service to every American. Our customers not only recognized your performance through high levels of customer satisfaction, but the highly respected Ponemon Institute named the Postal Service the most trusted government agency for the fourth straight year."
The White House has announced that Robert W. McGowan of Nevada has been nominated to be a governor of the USPS for a term expiring December 8, 2015. McGowan will replace Chairman Kessler, whose term expires at the end of this year.
Press Release: " Window Book and Streamline Solutions have joined forces to provide an interface that allows PrintStream users to benefit from the state-of-the-art postage documentation capabilities of DAT-MAIL."
Press Release: "Unplug. Turn off lights. Close doors. Adjust thermostats. Report HVAC problems. Turn off unused equipment. Become personally responsible for conservation. Simple steps that, taken collectively among the 685,000 employees at the U.S. Postal Service and throughout its 34,000 facilities, will have a dramatic impact on the environment. That was the message from Postmaster General John Potter, launching a year-long campaign to increase awareness and create results for energy conservation."
The CNET has reported that "On Wednesday, Netflix plans to announce a new partnership with Starz to offer subscribers 2,500 additional movies from Starz Play. The best part of this news, for Netflix subscribers, is that all of this extra content isn't going to cost them a dime. All Netflix subscribers with unlimited subscriptions (those $8.99 and up) will have access to the Starz Play selections." [EdNote: The bad news for the Postal Service...no postage.]
The Washington Post has reported that:
Its original boss was Congress. Now the Government Accountability Office has a second group of people to whom it must be accountable -- union members. For the first time, GAO has reached a tentative collective-bargaining agreement with its employees. About 1,800 analysts are in the bargaining unit of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers. Unlike most unions in the federal workplace, the union can negotiate pay.
The amount of money sent home to families in Latin American countries by relatives living abroad is projected to grow by its slowest rate on record this year, according to a report to be released today by the Washington bank that tracks such transfers. A slowdown would not only potentially exacerbate poverty in home countries but is also an indication of the economic troubles facing Latin American immigrants in the United States and elsewhere, according to the Inter-American Development Bank.
According to the Salem News, "Opt-out strategies reduce mailbox waste-invasion."
From Canada NewsWire: "UPS employees across Canada are rolling up their brown sleeves to do a lot more than deliver packages in October. Throughout the month, UPS employees will participate in the company's Global Volunteer Month, giving their time, talents and hands-on support to charitable organizations in their local communities."
From PRWeb: "Window Book, Inc. will be showcasing Intelligent Mail® solutions at GraphExpo, October 26-29, 2008 in Chicago, IL."
Money.co.uk has noted that "Energywatch joined forces with two other campaigning groups to form a new, merged, watchdog today. The gas and electricity consumers' group, the National Consumer Council and Postwatch - which supervised the postal service - have now formed the new Consumer Focus organisation. It will function primarily as a voice for British people, lobbying the government for fairer treatment."
The Associated Press has reported that "In a case that echoes a "Seinfeld" episode, a former postal worker has been charged with stealing thousands of pieces of mail that authorities say she had kept in a storage unit northwest of Detroit. More than 9,000 pieces of mail have been recovered from a storage unit in Fowlerville, federal investigators said Tuesday. Authorities allege that Jill Hull admitted storing the mail because she couldn't deliver it on time. Some mail has postmarks from 2005. Postal spokesman Ed Moore said the case is a "black eye" for carriers who faithfully deliver mail."
CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Deutsche Post will respond to the introduction of VAT for large scale customers from 2010 by reducing its rates.
Despite the fact that Poste Italiane was able to present 2007 a positive operating result for the sixth year in a row, it is obvious that the Italian post’s profit is based mainly on financial transactions.
Posten Norge intends to move forward with the help of a spinnaker - CEO Dag Mejdell’s rationalisation project aims to raise the postal segment’s EBIT margin to 8-9% by 2012.
German publishing group Georg von Holtzbrinck (publisher of business daily »Handelsblatt« and weekly broadsheet »Die Zeit«, among others) has taken over key parts of bankrupt mail service provider Pin-Group.
New Zealand Post enjoyed an increase in turnover and profit during the financial year 2007/2008.
August appears to be a quiet month as far as China Post is concerned - but growth rates remain impressive. The express segment remained the fastest growing segment and plays an increasingly important role. Traditional mail follows a trend of slower growth, which has been noticeable for months.
The U.S. Postal Service is expecting shipment volumes to drop by around 9 billion items during the current financial year compared to last year. The extent of the volume decline - caused chiefly by the weak economy.
India’s ministry of telecommunication intends to bring the proposed amendment to the postal act before Parliament during the next term. Severely criticised by private operators, the proposed fund for the financing of the universal service is included in the draft.
The planned co-operation between DHL and UPS is subject to sustained political attack.
In a letter to the Düsseldorf Ministry of Justice, Hanns Feigen, the solicitor acting for former Deutsche Post CEO Klaus Zumwinkel, has asked the Ministry to forego a main trial and to bring the tax evasion case to an end by issuing a penalty order.
Analysts say that the recent election results in Austria are causing privatisation hopes to dwindle.
A motion from US trade union Teamsters to remove FedEx founder Fred Smith from his position as chairman of the board has failed.
Following a six-month trial period, Deutsche Post and mail order pharmacy Easy have decided to phase out their common project at the end of September. " The bottom line is that customers at our branches did not accept the offer and all its advantages to the degree we had hoped for", a spokeswoman for the post said last Friday.
The Russian post has concluded a partnership agreement with Microsoft. Under the agreement, the parties intend to carry out joint projects for the development of a modern information infrastructure for the post. The primary concern is a uniform e-mail and communications service as well as a system for remote maintenance of working stations and a monitoring system. The agreement also includes the purchase of user software and the preparation of long-term license agreements for the use of Microsoft products.
Hailed by many importers as a cheaper alternative to China, Vietnam is showing an increase in international express capacities.
According to Polish radio reports, Poczta Polska intends to cut up to 15,000 jobs as part of its planned cost-cutting programme.
Finance ministers on a tight budget will not make allowances for losses. Eesti Post is currently experiencing what this means, as the Estonian government’s new draft budget obliges the post to pay a 10m EEK dividend - approx. 639,000 euros - to the government.
Empost is equipping all its delivery vehicles and motorcycles with what the company describes as a state-of-the-art navigation system. The Emirates Post subsidiary for courier, express, freight and logistics services announced last week that the new system was part of an ongoing programme aimed at increasing efficiency.
DHL is carrying out an experiment on board the international space station ISS to establish whether parcels of the same size but differing weight move at the same speed where there is zero gravity. The test will be carried out in October by US astronaut Richard Garriott. Test consignments will start on 12 October on board a Russian Soyuz rocket from Baikonur.
From PRWeb: "FollowThatPackage.com was recently developed and released to help both customers and retail companies alleviate the amount of incoming phone calls to determine the status of their package they have purchased online. When placing an order online with any retailer, there are many steps to the process. First you place the order; the retailer receives the order and fulfills it. The retailer then ships the items out to you. At that time, the retailer sends you a shipping confirmation notice with your tracking information. The Shipping Carrier comes to the retail location, picks up your package and runs it through their shipping hubs to ultimately deliver the package to you. Pretty simple it seems. That's not always the case. In some cases, packages get delayed, re-routed or even returned back to the retailer."
The Courier, Express, and Postal Observer has offered a few thoughts the Burrus communication reported below.
In his most recent communication with the members of the American Postal Workers Union, APWU President William Burrus said that "Postmaster General John E. Potter informed the unions and the Postal Regulatory Commission this month that the Postal Service has experienced a 12 percent reduction in mail volume and that in Fiscal Year 2008 (ending Sept. 30), expenses will exceed revenue by approximately $2.3 billion. I do not challenge this assessment, as any casual review of mail processing plants or postal vehicles will reveal dramatic reductions in mail volume. The 2008 deficit is not the largest the USPS has ever suffered, but for the first time in postal history, the losses cannot be recovered by postage rate increases." [EdNote: Amen to that, brother.]