Association for Postal Commerce
"Representing those who use or support the use of mail for Business Communication and Commerce"
"You will be able to enjoy only those postal rights you believe are worth defending."

1800 Diagonal Rd., Ste 320 * Alexandria, VA 22314-2862 * Ph.: +1 703 524 0096 * Fax: +1 703 997 2414

Postal News from December 2012

December 31, 2012 

[flag] The Salem News: The cash-strapped US Postal Service would like to see total curbside mail delivery implemented in the future and some rural post offices face reduced window hours.Salem Post Office is no exception.The goal is to eventually be able to deliver mail to all postal customers from a vehicle, saving time and making the USPS run more efficiently.Compliance with the curbside delivery is voluntary, according to an informational letter that will be going to local postal customers.

[flag] KCRG: Evansdale, Iowa has filed a second appeal to reopen its post office.

[flag] Wall Street Journal:

[flag] Express & Star: Royal Mail has investigated 91 postmen and women in the Black Country and Staffordshire for fraud, theft and hoarding packages in just two years.

[flag] The Star: The Royal Mail tends generally only to get a bad press, with the media only interested when things go wrong are charges increase.In the days of email, and effective deregulation of the postal service with competitors gnawing away at the Royal Mail’s profit margins, we have seen a steep increase in the cost of posting a letter.But there are few services today where you can expect speedy delivery without having to pay an exorbitant post and package charge.So a week ago, we decided to put the Royal Mail to the test to see what sort of service they provide.

[flag] Taipei Times: Chunghwa Post’s proposal to use its postal savings fund to invest in public infrastructure projects was rejected by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), which said the postal service operator is not authorized by law to do so.

[flag] The Epoch Times: As 2012 dawned, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) maintained hopes of a financial turnaround. As the curtains drew on 2011, however, the USPS announced its intentions to eliminate next-day first-class mail delivery by 2013, citing a “dramatic and continual decline” in mail volume. As in recent years, 2012 was another difficult fiscal year for the USPS.

[flag] Programmable Web:  USPS Merchant Returns API: The service providesexpedited processing of shipping for returns of merchandise delivered via theU.S. Postal Service (USPS). Specifically, it augments service to merchantsthrough the provider's Scan Based Payment program by allowing expeditedprocessing of customer product returns with quick refunds of purchase price. Byoffering merchant-funded USPS return labels, sellers can encourage trialpurchases and simplify interactions with customers. Each shipping labelgenerated by the service carries an Intelligent Mail Package Barcode (IMpb) forautomated package tracking.API methods support submission of a return processingrequest with customer name and address, product specifications, and merchantaccount ID. The API responds with a fully formatted shipping label, USPStracking number, and related processing information.

December 30, 2012 

[flag] Wall Street Journal: Graphology is an attempt to formalize what we alreadyintuitively know about handwriting—that it forms a direct and intimate bridgebetween two people. We know, deep down, that there's nothing to match thecommunication with a pen on paper, and we tend to connect this feeling with ourhighest intentions. Sales of fountain pens and luxury paper are rising hugely,by 70% in one recent year. We know that a love letter or letter of condolencestill needs to be on paper, written by hand, to be worth anything.

[flag] Washington Post:The 112th Congress is limping to a formal close next weekwith the dubious distinction of passing fewer bills into law than any Congressin decades.Its dismal record will come as no surprise to anyone who’s beenwatching the post-election lame duck session consumed by lawmakers’ inability —so far — to craft a deal to avert the year-end “fiscal cliff.”But the number oflegislative disputes that they have failed to resolve while they have beenfailing to craft a budget deal is equally striking. They include reauthorizingthe Violence Against Women Act, renewing a sweeping farm bill and reforming theU.S. Postal Service.

[flag] EMissourian: Six-day mail delivery is going to continue — at least for sometime. That’s the word from the National Newspaper Association in Washington,D.C.The failure of Congress to reach an agreement on a broad postal reform billkeeps six-day mail delivery intact for a while longer, according to Tonda Rush,NNA executive director.But the U.S. Postal Service continues to campaign to endSaturday mail deliveries. With no postal reform bill enacted, the prevailing lawis the rider on the USPS appropriations bill requiring six-day mail.

December 29, 2012 

[flag] Postalnews Blog: Those who blame labor costs for the Postal Service’sfinancial difficulties conveniently overlook the fact that there are 280,000fewer postal workers today than there were 10 years ago. They also fail to notethat postal employees’ pension accounts are over funded by billions ofdollars.Those who blame the Internet for the Postal Service’s problems ignorethe fact that at least a portion of the decline in mail volume is due to theGreat Recession. While some first-class mail will never come back (due toelectronic bill paying) package delivery is growing at double-digit rates.Standard mail is also making a comeback as the economy improves.

[flag] Valley News Live: Rapid growth in western North Dakota's oil fields has putstress on postal service in the area.The Minot Daily News reports that the U.S.Postal Service has struggled to provide adequate staffing for post office insome oil-boom towns where populations have grown substantially in recent years.That has led to complaints about long lines at post office windows, late mail,returned mail and undelivered mail.

flag Financial Times: New Year is, most of all, about gathering the clan(including the great clan that is Japan) at home, over sake and rice cakes. Thepostal service delivers stacks of cards on New Year's morning to everyhousehold, on which every old friend or close colleague sends news from the yearjust past with a drawing commemorating the new Year of the Dog (or Monkey, orHorse, or whatever).

flag Baltimore Sun: In the United States, it became evident nearly a century agothat there was money to be made by delivering packages more quickly and reliablythan the U.S. Postal Service. People would pay a premium for faster, morereliable service, and pioneering businesses like UPS and later Federal Expresswould prosper. The logic followed that if private firms could make money doingwhat the postal service was doing with a public subsidy, then the postal serviceshould also, if properly managed, be able to at least break even. It remains tobe seen if this is the case, largely because the key words "properly managed"have not applied to the postal service in many years.

flag Minot Daily News: Snow, rain, heat and gloom of night might not delay postaldelivery. But an oil boom is something else again.The U.S. Postal Service hasstruggled to provide adequate staffing for post offices in some oil-boom towns,where populations have ballooned in recent years. Long lines at postal windows,late mail, returned mail and undelivered mail started to become commoncomplaints. Just when things didn't seem like they could get much worse, alongcame Christmas.

From the Federal Register:PostalService NOTICES Product Changes:Priority Mail Negotiated ServiceAgreement ,77121–77122 [2012–31335][TEXT][PDF]77122[2012–31338][TEXT][PDF]

flag Washington Wire: Congress's low productivity isn't reflected just in the bigstuff like keeping America from plunging off the fiscal cliff. The 112thCongress also was unusually sluggish in passing bills to name post offices,previously an area of vigorous activity for lawmakers.

December 28, 2012 

  At the Postal Regulatory Commission:  [EdNote: Heck, the PRC cleans up its end of the year business a lot better thanCongress. ]

"The Postal Service previously updated the Commission on the progress of Full-Service Intelligent Mail participation and certification on November 29, 2012. Between October 1 and December 14, 2012, the Postal Service measured about 2.9 billion First-Class Mail items from 752 active Full Service Intelligent Mail customers. Measured First-Class Mail items with an overnight service standard originated in 66 districts, those with a two-day service standard originated in 62 out of a possible 66 districts, and those with a three-to-five-day service standard originated in 61 districts. For Standard Mail, there were about 3.3 billion items measured with origin data from all districts for Destination Entry letters and flats, 61 districts for End-to-End letters, and 53 districts for End-to-End Flats. There were over 183 million pieces measured for Periodicals delivered between October 1 and December 14, originating from all districts. For Package Services Bound Printed Matter Flats there were about 1.2 million pieces measured quarter-to-date, with origin data for 64 districts."

usps logo DMM Advisory: IMb™Services Update

  • PostalOne! ® Release Webinars — Two mailer webinars will be held inconjunction with the upcoming PostalOne! ® release. The first webinar will beheld on Tuesday, January 8, 2013, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. ET. The second will beheld on Thursday, January 10, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET. These webinars willcover price changes and enhancements to the PostalOne! system, various reports,and initiatives. Complete webinar log-in information will be provided no laterthan Wednesday, January 2, 2013, on the RIBBS® Intelligent Mail Education pageat
  • PostalOne! Release 33.0.0 Deployment — will require an extendedmaintenance window to complete all software updates. There will be a PostalOne!outage from 8 p.m. Saturday, January 12, 2013, through 9 a.m. CT, Sunday,January 13, 2013. A mandatory Mail.dat® client download will be availableimmediately following the software update.
  • PostalOne! Release 33.0 Deployment to Test Environment for Mailers (TEM)— will occur on Monday, January 14, 2013, and PostalOne! TEM will be unavailablefrom 4 a.m. through 4 p.m. CT.

flag Advanced Direct: The bottom line is that any marketer will use thecommunication methods that work best. In a recent Consumer Channel PreferenceStudy, 60% of Americans enjoy checking their physical mailboxes. Companies thatperiodically reach out to their customers do so because they want to receivethose messages and they respond. Simply put, mail delivers results.

Please join the Association for Postal Commerce on
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 1:00 Eastern  for a FREE webinar as Gary Reblin, VicePresident, New Products and Innovation for the United States Postal Serviceshares the exciting details for the 2013 programs:  (1)Direct Mail Mobile Coupon and Click-to-Call (2) Earned Value Reply Mail (3)Picture Permit Promotion (4) Product Samples (5) Emerging Technology (6) MobileBuy It Now.

flag If that Christmas gift you got in the mail arrived in pieces, aGrandview man believes he may know the reason. Harold Nelson was so appalled atthe way a U.S Postal worker was handling packages that he recorded her on hiscell phone.

flag GetReading: Royal Mail has sold the former mail centre in Caversham Road.The 6.5 acre site to the north of Reading Station has been bought by HermesProperty Unit Trust for a reported £12 million. "Royal Mail has a clear strategyto ensure we derive maximum value from any property we no longer require. Thisincludes selling the freehold or leases which we hold, and, where appropriate,working with planning authorities to ensure that properties we are selling areattractive to new owners. "We have a strong track record in using the proceedsfrom disposal of surplus property to invest in the mail operation."

flag Financial Times: Shutl, an online courier service offering rapid delivery,has signed a major deal with Argos, giving the start-up nationwide coverage forthe first time. The deal means that Shutl's service will be available in 291 ofArgos's 700 stores, covering an extra 47 towns and cities across the UK. Basedin London's start-up hub in east London, Shutl uses an algorithm to match orderswith potential couriers, taking account of location, cost and the courier'sprevious reviews, as well as when the customer wants the product. Customers canchoose to have the item delivered as soon as possible – the record is 15 minutes– or at a precise time.

flag KnoxNews: Have you ever been down to your local public library only to findthat the book you have been waiting on is checked out? Now you are stuck waitingfor it to be returned or waiting for another branch to mail it in. But now,thanks to the new Firefly Courier Service developed by the Tennessee StateLibrary and Archives, every rural, suburban and urban public library across thestate will be linked and able to loan books throughout the state quicker. TheUniversity of Tennessee and other college's libraries will also be included intothe system. The courier service will visit each of the 177 public librariesacross the Volunteer State twice weekly to pick up and drop off books. "Movingthese materials by road is far cheaper than by mail," State Librarian ChuckSherrill said. "Because of the large volume of loans, we benefit from economiesof scale." According to Secretary of State Tre Hargett's office, the cost of thenew service is approximately the same cost as what the state currently pays toreimburse the branch's postal costs.

flag Pakistan News Service: Pakistan Post Office is suffering a loss of Rs2billion annually as it has lost most of the money order business after thepopularity of online banking and other private competitors, says the chairman.

flag RIA Novosti: An illegal banking ring with an annual turnover of 15 billionrubles ($500 million) that operated through the country's postal service hasbeen uncovered in Russia, police said on Friday. Money was transferred throughRussian Post's electronic payment service with the help of numerous fake firmsrun by the ring's operators, the Interior Ministry said. Clients were able tocash out their illegal money transfers at a commission of 2.5 percent, theministry said on its website.

From the Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products ,76571–76572 [2012–31174] [TEXT][PDF]76570–76571 [2012–31178] [TEXT][PDF]

The Passing of Robert Sheehan

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Bob Sheehan, who served asa PostCom board member while employed by Neopost USA.
Bob had a long and distinguished career at the U.S. Postal Service prior tojoining Neopost.

flag Herald Tribune: Amazon, the world's biggest online retailer, has hinted thatit will expand its same-day shipping service, giving customers the immediategratification that has been the biggest advantage of brick-and-mortar stores.Bigger retailers, like Toys "R" Us, Macy's and Target, have worked with eBay todeliver items the same day, as have other old-line stores. Google has beguntesting a local delivery service with several chains.

flag Alaska Public Radio: The U.S. Postal Service is offering a reward forinformation about a man who allegedly stole mail collection boxes in Anchorageover the Christmas holiday. The postal boxes around Anchorage were stolenbetween Dec. 20-25. Michele Logan is a detective in the financial crimes unit ofthe Anchorage Police Department. She's partnering with the Postal Service on theinvestigation. She says investigators believe that the suspect, Clifford EarlDancer, started removing the boxes December 19 or 20.

December 27, 2012 

flag TechHive: More Americans read e-books in the last year, with 23 percent ofthose ages 16 and over going digital, compared to 16 percent in the previoussurvey for the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which released its latestresults on e-book readership Thursday. The rise coincided with a largerpercentage jump in e-reading device ownership. The survey also found that thosewho read books in print declined to 67 percent from 72 percent.

flag Direct Marketing News: The United States Postal Service kicked off its MetroPost same-day service in San Francisco last week in a test with 1-800 Flowers'gourmet food products. The Post Office's chief competition will come fromBritish import Shutl, which currently operates a same-day service for retailersin the UK and is readying a stateside launch for Q1 of 2013. It's already raised$5 million for its U.S. expansion from an investor pool that includes UPS. Thecompany uses established courier firms to fulfill orders in a point-to-pointdelivery system in which couriers go straight from collection to delivery.

GovernmentAccountability Office: "U.S. POSTAL SERVICE Status, Financial Outlook, andAlternative Approaches to Fund Retiree Health Benefits"

"The Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund (PSRHBF) covered about 49percent of the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) $94 billion retiree health benefitliability at fiscal year-end 2012. USPS's deteriorating financial outlook,however, will make it difficult to continue the current prefunding schedule inthe short term, and possibly to fully fund the remaining $48 billion unfundedliability over the remaining 44 years of the schedule on which the 2006 PostalAccountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) was based. The liability covers theprojected benefits for about 471,000 current postal retirees and a portion ofthe projected benefits for about 528,000 current employees; it does not coveremployees not yet hired.

"GAO's analysis of maintaining current law requirements compared to fivealternative approaches showed differing impacts on USPS's future annual paymentsand unfunded liabilities. For example, three of the approaches—1) theAdministration's Approach, 2) Senate Bill (S. 1789) and 3) "Pay-as-You-Go" (noprefunding)—would reduce USPS's annual payments in the short term, therebyeasing its immediate cash flow problems and financial losses. However, theseapproaches would increase USPS's unfunded liability, sometimes substantially,and require larger payments later. Deferring funding could increase costs forfuture ratepayers and increase the possibility that USPS may not be able to payfor some or all of its liability. Conversely, a fourth approach—the House Bill(H.R. 2309)—and the current law requirement would reduce USPS's unfundedliabilities more aggressively but may result in significantly higher USPSfinancial losses in the near future. If USPS stopped prefunding and let theexisting fund grow with interest, the unfunded liability is projected tosignificantly increase. Under a fifth approach, if USPS stopped prefunding andused the existing fund to pay current and future premiums, the fund is projectedto be exhausted by 2026.

"GAO has testified that USPS should prefund its retiree health benefitliabilities to the maximum extent that its finances permit, but none of thefunding approaches may be viable unless USPS has the ability to make thepayments. USPS's default on its last two required PSRHBF payments and itsinability to borrow further make the need for a comprehensive package of actionsto achieve sustainable financial viability even more urgent."

flag Reuters: Pos Indonesia, the country's biggest postal service firm, aims toraise up to 1.5 trillion rupiah ($156 million) via initial public offering in2013 to fund expansion.

flag Anchorage Daily News: Police and the U.S. Postal Service say four big, bluemail collection boxes, presumably with mail in them, disappeared from fourAnchorage post offices in recent days. Two of them were taken on Christmas Day.

flag Delaware Online: U.S. Sen. Tom Carper has been concerned for years aboutcyber criminals whom he says have put the nation under "unrelenting attack."Next Congress, the Delaware Democrat will be in a position to do something abouthackers who try to steal sensitive information or target criticalinfrastructure. Carper plans to make cyber security a top priority for theSenate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee when he becomes thepanel's chairman in January. [EdNote: One way to start is by making, by law,the Postal Inspection Service the agency responsible for investigating andprosecuting cybercrimes. At present, virtually NO law enforcement agency iswilling to do any of the hard lifting against cybercrime.]

flag Irish Examiner: An Post is facing a serious financial crisis after beinginformed it will not be granted its request for a 10c hike in the cost of thestandard 55c postage stamp. The Commission for Communications Regulation(ComReg) has signalled it is only prepared to sanction a 3c rise to 58c.However, ComReg also indicated it might consent to approving an increase to 60cper stamp following a public consultation. The regulator has warned An Post thatit needs to find an additional €43m in cost savings or extra revenue on top ofany increase in the price for delivering standard mail, to compensate for itsexpected losses of €65m in providing a universal postal service in 2012.

flag ChipChick: The venerable USPS was already looking a little long in thetooth. Digital Postal Mail isn't going to help. Digital Postal Mail is a newfree iOS app that takes exact digital copies of the mail you would normallyreceive (usually bills), and sends them to you electronically, instead. You canstill opt to receive paper copies, as well. DPM works with individual mailers(AT&T, Verizon, and American Express, for example), rather than the post office,so the old USPS really is left out in the cold on this one. To assure safety,DPM has rigged up security measures like VeriSign, which usually handles bankingbusiness. All of your digital mail is archived and can be accessed at any time.Plus, those exact copies of the snail mail versions are, in some cases, moredetailed. DPM provides a paperless way to keep those records, which is great,because now you won't have to end up on an episode of Hoarders, with paper billsspanning decades, stacked to the ceiling.

postal technology logoPostal Technology International magazine has a digital portal that hosts thelatest industry news, blogs, additional features, plus recruitment. It isdistributed to almost 35,000 industry professionals worldwide each and everyweek. And this is your chance to take advantage of our free careers offer -place your recruitment advertisements on for no cost!

fedex logo   BusinessWire: According to a holiday survey commissioned by FedEx, more thana third of Americans will return gifts after the holidays. To take the headacheout of the process, consumers are increasingly choosing to ship gifts backinstead of dealing with the crowds at the mall. Simple-to-use FedEx returnlabels and flexible options like residential pickup or drop-off make the returnprocess easy for both shoppers and web-based retailers during the holiday seasonand year-round. FedEx has more than 9,000 retail locations ready to handleholiday returns this year, including more than 1,800 FedEx Office storesnationwide. FedEx Office serves as a convenient local resource to drop-off allthe holiday returns in one, quick stop. Specially-trained team members can helpcustomers properly pack up unwanted gifts to ensure each arrives expertlypackaged, and prices for FedEx Ground delivery are up to 10 percent less thanthe competition at FedEx Office locations.

flag WTOC: The US Postal Service, UPS and FedEx are expected to be swamped withreturns. During the first week of January, UPS said it expects to handle 2million packages that are consumers returning gifts they received.

flag Politico: Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told Congress in a letter onWednesday that the nation will hit its statutory borrowing limit on Dec. 31 andTreasury will have to begin "extraordinary measures" to fund the governmentuntil the debt ceiling is lifted by Congress. Treasury expects it can avoiddefault through such measures at least a few week into next year but notes thatdoing so could be made more difficult if no deal is made to avoid the fiscalcliff. [EdNote: Unfortunately, this cliff makes the postal precipice looklike a molehill.]

December 26, 2012

flag Roll Call: Talk of a comprehensive deal, or grand bargain, has all butceased, with all parties setting their sights on smaller temporary patches toavoid impending tax increases and spending cuts. On Friday, Obama called onCongress to take up a narrow measure that would extend tax cuts only for thosemaking less than $250,000 annually, extend unemployment insurance benefits andtemporarily put off the $500 billion in sequestration cuts. Majority LeaderHarry Reid of Nevada could bring such a measure to the Senate floor for a votethis week, but it remains unclear whether Minority Leader Mitch McConnell,R-Ky., or any other Senate Republican would look to block the package.

MTAC logoThe USPS Marketing Mail Product Development team will present a webinar onWednesday, January 9, 2013 for mail owners and mail service providers that willinclude a live demonstration on how to register via the Business CustomerGateway for the programs in the upcoming 2013 Promotions Calendar. Thisyear-long line up of Postal Service promotions is designed to encourageinnovation and use of technologies that can make mail more interactive and addvalue. Additionally, there are promotions that encourage mailers to use moretraditional forms of direct mail, namely samples and reply mail envelopes.Register at:

  At the Postal Regulatory Commission:

flag Gazette: One of the biggest employers in America is crashing. And everythingthe federal government is doing to fix the United States Postal Service (USPS)is just making it worse. A lesson we should learn as we stand on the edge of thereal Fiscal Cliff: Obama Care.

flag Swissinfo: Traditional methods of sending holiday greetings could be makinga comeback, as the Swiss post set a package delivery record in 2012 while thecountry's largest telecom provider said users sent 10 per cent fewer textmessages at Christmas. The Swiss post handled 16 million packages in the timeperiod between December 1 and 24, compared with around 15 million in the pastfew years. On the other hand, Swisscom, the country's leading telecommunicationsprovider, reported that on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Swiss people sentaround three million fewer text and picture messages than last year via theirmobile phones. In 2012, 24.4 million messages were sent over the Christmasholiday. However, other technologies are likely more responsible for the declinein mobile greetings than this year's popularity of the Post. Swisscomspokesperson Sepp Huber attributed the downturn in text messages to an increaseduse of social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook as well as smartphonemessaging applications such as Whatsapp, Ping and iMessage.,_fewer_text_messages_.html?cid=34597646&

flag PC Magazine: After years of incubation, it has finally become clear to methat augmented reality (AR) is going to transform our mobile computingexperiences. Seeing AR applied to pictures, stories, posters, and other types ofprint media emphasizes how it truly provides the world of publishing with aricher way to tell stories. I believe it will deliver an innovative angle tocenturies-old printed media.

flag Baltimore Sun: The new development of Kelly Glen north of Bel Air hassingle-family homes costing upward of $500,000 tucked away between the Bel AirBypass and Route 1 (Conowingo Road), with direct access to the latter, butresidents have one major problem: They can't get their mail delivered. Those whomoved to the neighborhood said the U.S. Postal Service told them they do notqualify for curbside mail delivery. Residents have been stepping up complaintsto the Postal Service, pointing out they have to drive to a post office just topick up their daily mail. Thus far, however, the Postal Service is sticking toits guns.

flag Wall Street Journal: The annual holiday shop-a-thon drew to a muted closefor many retailers, according to preliminary data, reflecting what some expertssaid was the slowest growth in spending since the 2008 recession.

flag Saipan Tribune: Arctic Circle Air Services, Inc. is further bridging the gapin the delivery not just of cargo but also mail following the signing of acontract that allows for the company to transport mail between the CNMI andGuam, less than two months since it commenced its cargo flights.

flag Business2Community: Australia Post recently released its annual results.Revenues from "regulated mail" – standard postage – are $1924 million andfalling, and it made a loss of $148 million. "Non regulated parcels and retail"revenues were up 8.5% to $3073 million, returning a profit of $546 million. Animportant part of its future will be digital services provided to its commercialcustomers and Australian consumers. A starting flurry in this new world is thesoft launch of MailBox in November 2012 with a full launch to take place earlyin 2013. Australia Post has announced that several Australian banks, governmentdepartments and utilities will use the Digital MailBox. It will be free to allAustralians. It will enable consumers to receive and pay bills, track and managetheir relationships with their providers and store all of their importantdocuments in one place. It's accessed with one password, from any Internetenabled device, 24/7, from anywhere in the world. Enter Digital Post Australia(DPA), a joint venture between Computershare Ltd, Fuji Xerox Document ManagementSolutions Pty Limited and Zumbox Inc.

flag The Guardian: Portugal is to embark on a sweeping fire-sale of statecompanies over the coming months, possibly even privatising state broadcasterRTP, as it bends to the will of the troika of lenders that bailed it out 20months ago. Oil-rich former colony Angola is one of the countries that Portugalhas tried to tap for investors as it aims to sell off everything from publicbroadcaster RTP to parts of the postal service, water utilities, state banks,the rail service and oil firm Galp.

December 25, 2012

flag The China Post: Chinese delivery firms urged to safeguard information inwake of security breaches.

flag The Peninsula: The annual Arab postal committee meeting commenced in Dohayesterday to discuss issues related to the postal service of this region. Thetwo-day meeting being held at the St. Reggi's Hotel is a follow up meeting tothe recently held International Postal Union meeting and will discuss aboutseveral events postponed due to the political developments and unrest in Arabcountries.

December 24, 2012

flag Business Times: As part of its strategy to grow its self-storage business,postal service provider Singapore Post (SingPost) is acquiring General StorageCompany from Asia Pacific Storage Company for $37 million. General Storage,which operates a self-storage business under the Lock+Store brand, hasfacilities in Tanjong Pagar and Chai Chee. The acquisition will expandSingPost's existing self-storage business, Self Storage Solutions (S3), whichoffers warehousing, fulfilment, delivery and distribution services. SingPostexpects the acquisition to allow it to serve individual customers andsmall-and-medium enterprises better.

flag CBC: Canada Post workers across the country have kicked it into high gear,working the last three weekends to keep up with the increasing number of parcel,package and Christmas card deliveries leading up to Dec. 25. The postal servicebroke records after delivering 50 million pieces of mail on Dec. 20 and over onemillion parcels on Dec. 13 within 24-hour periods.

flag Trend: "The Mail Service of Georgia" started a partnership with Frenchinsurance broker Gras Savoye Georgia. According to a joint statement,cooperation efforts consist of several stages. "The Mail Service of Georgia"will provide identification of risk and insurance products for the management ofbusiness risk-mail. The improvement of relations between the postal service andits customers will be introduced in different ways. Both local and internationalinsurance products will be used in this process, the report said. As noted inthe report, the French company is the largest insurance broker in Europe with105 years of experience in the field.

flag Seeking Alpha: Valassis Communications, Inc. (VCI) is a consumer-driven,future-focused media company. Since George Valassis founded the company morethan 40 years ago, Valassis Communications' focus is to deliver savings toconsumers on behalf of advertisers looking for an exceptional return oninvestment. Today, VCI delivers through its RedPlum Media Portfolio, includingnewspaper, in-the-store display, and online. The media sector is not poised forstrong growth for 2013, but VCI offers solid fundamentals with improving coststructure and has an edge in Internet media by focusing on delivering savings tousers and high investment returns to advertisers.

flag Irish Times: The demise of handwriting and "snail mail" has been greatlyexaggerated. Or so it would seem, based on the huge amount of Christmas mailbeing processed and delivered by An Post this year. The internet has not yetkilled off traditional methods of communication, it appears. "People who dosocial media do Christmas as well," a spokeswoman for An Post said. "And youcan't put an email on the mantelpiece."

flag Seeking Alpha: Pitney Bowes has increased its annualized per share dividendfor the last 30 years and although the company is not necessarily guaranteed toincrease or maintain its dividends going forward, we believe that there is nofundamental reason for management to cut PBI's per share dividend for theforeseeable future.

flag AntaraNews: State-owned postal service company PT Pos Indonesia said it willbuild two star-rated hotels utilizing its lands in the West Java city ofBandung.

flag Seeking Alpha: FedEx Corp. (FDX) reported a 12% year-over-year drop inquarterly profits. This is due to hurricane Sandy and the global economicslowdown, which has changed customer's preferences from high margin overnightdelivery service to cheaper alternatives. In short, the fall in air transportwas offset by ground operations. This is a trend I expect to continue in thelong term as the era of cheap, abundant energy that facilitated the model isover and therefore air freight volume is likely going to drop, but margins mayremain as it will weed out all of the price elastic customers, leaving thosewhose need far outweighs the shipping cost differential.

fedex logo Forbes: It's Christmas- time and FedEx shipments are falling faster than GDPaccording to economic forecaster Lakshman Acuthan, whom I had lunch with todayat our favorite place. At least 5% faster than the latest economic statisticsfor the whole economy. "FedEx shipments track well to GDP," the CEO of ECRIForecasting told me. This latest factoid adds weight to Acuthan's judgement thatwe are already in a recession, one that, in fact probably began over the summermonths.

flag China's postal authorities have ordered an overhaul of theexpress delivery sector amid growing concerns over personal information beingleaked and traded by workers.

flag The Telegraph: Ministers discussing the sale of the Royal Mail areunderstood be considering whether the sale agreement for the company should makea clear legal provision for changes to the Universal Service Obligation (USO).Under the USO, the company is legally required to deliver post to every addressin the UK six days a week at "uniform and affordable prices". The obligation isthe basis of the Royal Mail's cherished nationwide service, which means that thecost of posting a letter to any address in the UK is the same everywhere.However, the requirement is extremely costly to fulfil, and some ministersbelieve that it will become untenable as the number of letters sent fallsfurther. Government sources say that the sale of the Royal Mail will have toaddress the prospect of future changes in the USO.

flag Lancaster Intelligencer Journal: Why do nonprofits send four, a dozen ormore solicitations to one address in a year's time? Professional fundraisers andcharity watchdog groups agree that multiple mailings are a manifestation ofincreasing competition for donors' dollars, especially since the recession.Persuading someone to donate in this economic climate can be a tough sell.

December 23, 2012

flag Postal services have long been considered for shippingmaterials or documents that took days to reach its destination. However, withthe help of couriers you can send your parcels anytime and anywhere much quicklyand safely. Compiled here are some reasons to consider courier services insteadof postal services.

flag Pocono Record: While the post office doesn't know how many catalogs it shipsbecause they are in the same category as other types of mail, includingbrochures and boxes, the ACMA counted 20 billion catalogs in circulation in 2006and 12 billion to 13 billion this year. "Volume has fallen 35 percent primarilydue to the postal rate increases in 2007 followed by the recession a few yearslater," Davison said. Postage accounts for about 50 percent of the cost of acatalog. Paper and printing combined make up the other half, he said. Despitepostal increases, catalogs generate about $270 billion in retail sales yearly,according to the ACMA. The holiday season, which has a moving window of Octoberor November through December depending on the retailer, is No. 1.

December 22, 2012 

From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES

  • International Mail Contracts , 76091–76092 [2012–30942] [TEXT][PDF]
  • New Postal Products , 76092–76093 [2012–30858] [TEXT][PDF]76094–76095 [2012–30859] [TEXT][PDF]76093–76094 [2012–30874] [TEXT][tPDF]76095–76096 [2012–30875] [TEXT][PDF]
Postal Service NOTICES
  • Meetings; Sunshine Act , 76096 [2012–31090] [TEXT][PDF]
  • Product Changes: First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement ,76096 [2012–30869] [TEXT][PDF]76097 [2012–30880] [TEXT][PDF]76096 [2012–30883] [TEXT][PDF]

flag Bangor Daily News: Fifty-five small Maine post offices have implementedreduced hours as part of the United States Postal Service's attempt to savemoney. Nearly 200 more will follow suit by the end of 2014.

flag VoiceOnLine: Canada Post, the country's primary postal operator, delivered arecord 1 million parcels across the country last Thursday, the company said.This is an 11 per cent increase compared to the previous year's busiest day,according to the company, which operates the country's largest retail network ofnearly 6,500 post offices.

PostCom Members! The latest issue ofPostCom's "Intothe Postal Weeds" has been posted on this site. In this issue:

  • What is the IMb Planning Tool?
  • How to Use the Planning Tool.
  • How Can it Help Your Business?
  • Caution: Some Things to Keep in Mind.
  • What Will it be When it Grows Up?
  • Summing it All Up.

December 21, 2012

In a postal perspective to be published in the PostCom Bulletin, Grayhair CEOand owner Cameron Bellamy is of the opinion that "the Postal Service should befocusing its attention on improving functionalities that are central to itsmission of delivering mail, such as the PostalOne! mail acceptance tool, whichis riddled with outages and a constant source of costly, patchwork maintenance.But instead of fixing what mailers already have paid for, USPS wants to throwmore mailer money at a new mail tracking tool that adds no real value andabsolutely no return on investment to what its private sector 'partners' alreadycan provide today."

The2013 NPF Promotional Catalog is now available online. This Catalog has all thedetails you need to plan your Forum experience in San Francisco, March 17-20th.  Early Bird Registration will be closing on January 25, 2013.  Registerearly and save!

usps logo DMM Advisory: IMb™Services Update

  • PostalOne! ® Release Webinars — Two mailer webinars will be held inconjunction with the upcoming PostalOne! ® release. The first webinar will beheld on Tuesday, January 8, 2013, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. ET. The second will beheld on Thursday, January 10, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET. These webinars willcover price changes and enhancements to the PostalOne! system, various reports,and initiatives. Complete webinar log-in information will be provided whenavailable on the RIBBS® Intelligent Mail Education page at
  • PostalOne! Release 33.0.0 Deployment — will require an extendedmaintenance window to complete all software updates. There will be a PostalOne!outage from 8 p.m. Saturday, January 12, 2013, through 9 a.m. CT, Sunday,January 13, 2013. A mandatory Mail.dat® client download will be availableimmediately following the software update.
  • PostalOne! Release 33.0 Deployment to Test Environment for Mailers (TEM)— will occur on Monday, January 14, 2013, and PostalOne! TEM will be unavailablefrom 4 a.m. through 4 p.m. CT.

flag Federal Times: The chances of postal legislation passing Congress this yearare now nil following the House of Representatives' abrupt decision to quit townThursday night. A band of five retired and current postal workers nonethelessplans to continue its hunger strike as scheduled through Saturday.

flag Five postal hunger strikers occupied the office ofRepresentative Darrell Issa Thursday afternoon. Four of the strikers wereejected by Capitol Police while one, John Dennie, a retired mail handler fromNew York, was arrested.

flag Wall Street Journal: U.S. stock futures slumped as part of a global selloffafter House Speaker John Boehner ditched his own budget plan amid lack ofsupport, fueling fears that a fiscal crisis couldn't be averted. [EdNote:What a government. They've gotten so bogged down in position-taking, they'veforgotten the art of pragmatics and compromise. Soooo . . . . how did you votewhen you were in the voting booth? "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's at faultfor America's fall?"]

flag MarketWire:®, the leading provider of USPS postage online andshipping software to over 400,000 customers, today announced its inclusion inSoftware Magazine's ranking of the world's 500 largest software and serviceproviders.

flag KGO-TV: In this age of instant gratification, overnight shipping isn't fastenough anymore. That's why a handful of companies, including the Bay Area's owneBay are getting into the business of same-day delivery in big cities like SanFrancisco.

flag TeleGeography: State-run national PTO Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications(VNPT) will separate its postal service from its operations early next year inorder to focus on its telecoms business, reports Reuters. The new entity, knownas Vietnam Post, gained partial accounting independence from VNPT in 2008, buthas made losses every year through 2010. It expects its 2013 gross profit torise 7% from this year to VND45.5 billion (USD2.2 million).

From the Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES International Mail Contracts ,75678–75679 [2012–30822] [TEXT][PDF]

December 20, 2012

NonprofitPostal Blogspot: A recent letter from Ian Volner on behalf of PostCom toMary Anne Gibbons of the USPS questions why the they are interested inexplicitly identifying the "mail owner" as we embark on the new Intelligent Mailbarcode. I'm with him, as so many of us mail owners have expert mail serviceprovider (MSP) representation to keep the postal minutiae at bay. After all,mail owners are in "their" business, not the "mailing business."

UPS logo fedex logoLifeInc.:The blizzard that has dumped inches of snow across the Midwest could not havecome at a worse time for many travelers trying to get home for Christmas. It'salso pretty bad timing for the nation's shipping companies on one of the busiestdays of the year. If they don't deliver their packages on time, grandma may notget her scarf for Christmas, or worse, hundreds of companies may not live up tothe promise they made to online shoppers to deliver packages in time to go underthe tree. Enter the meterology teams from FedEx and UPS. Each company employsin-house weather experts who examine jet streams, satellite images andtemperature trends to make sure trucks and planes have all the information theyneed when delivering all those packages that need to get there now.

flag Wall Street Journal: Rising caution and falling confidence among U.S.businesses and consumers have the economy on track to limp toward the end ofthis year and not pick up its pace until well into next. Businesses are slowingtheir investment amid a pile up of unsold goods and uncertainty over thebillions of dollars in spending cuts and tax increases known as the fiscalcliff. Consumers are worrying about the prospect of more taxes. Economists inthe latest Wall Street Journal survey predict the nation's gross domesticproduct will grow just 1.3% on an annualized basis in the final three months of2012 and 1.7% in the first quarter of 2013.

flag DC Velocity: The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) said today that florist and giftshop giant is the launch customer for the USPS' same-daydelivery service, which starts today in pilot form in San Francisco. Theservice, called "Metropost," will run in test mode for a year and only in a49-mile radius in and around San Francisco. After that time, USPS can apply toexpand its scope or kill it altogether if demand doesn't meet expectations.

flag CNN: This Christmas could be the last for the U.S. Postal Service. It islosing $25 million dollars a day and staring down insolvency -- unless Congresssteps in to pass a reform package that reduces its costs. With just a few daysleft in the congressional calendar, there is still some small hope for aChristmas miracle -- maybe the Postal Service can be saved as part of a deal onthe fiscal cliff. But with even Hurricane Sandy relief stalled, skepticism isgrowing. "As the nation creeps toward the 'fiscal cliff,' the U.S. PostalService is clearly marching toward a financial collapse of its own," saysCarper. "The Postal Service's financial crisis is growing worse, not better. Itis imperative that Congress get to work on this issue and find a solutionimmediately. Recently key House and Senate leaders on postal reform have hadproductive discussions on a path forward, and while there may be somedifferences of opinion in some of the policy approaches needed to save thePostal Service, there is broad agreement that reform needs to happen -- thesooner the better." The urgency couldn't be clearer -- but even at this yuletide11th hour, signs of progress are slim to none. "Neither rain nor snow nor sleetnor gloom of night" can stop the U.S. Postal Service from making its appointedrounds -- but congressional division and dysfunction apparently can.

usps logo DMM Advisory: NewMailing Standards for Domestic Mailing Services Products. Today the FederalRegister published a final rule about the Domestic Mailing Services pricechange. In this final rule, we provide revised mailing standards in the DomesticMail Manual (DMM®) to implement Mailing Services price changes, including asummary of comments received and responses to those comments, several mailclassification changes, modifications to mailpiece characteristics, and changesin classification terminology. See the entire notice now at \ or latertoday on Postal Explorer at The effective date is January27, 2013.

flag WCBD: A federal grand jury in Tennessee has indicted 15 former FedExworkers, charging them with stealing from U.S. mail. The theft of mail andobstruction of correspondence charges stem from cash, gift cards and drugs beingstolen from U.S. Postal Service mail moving through the Memphis FedEx sortinghub.

flag Logistics Manager: Booming online shopping in the run up to Christmas hasresulted in up to a 77 per cent increase in daily parcel traffic according tomobile computing firm Skillweb. Home delivery volumes during the month have beenalmost 50 per cent higher than average non-peak trading periods. Post is to continue to be delivered to homes five days a weekdespite the privatisation of Luxembourg postal services, a draft law hasdecreed. The bill, which was almost unanimously approved by members, paves theway for opening up the distribution of shipments weighing below 50 grams tocompetition from private operators from 2013. Under the law, state-ownedoperator P&T will continue to operate a universal service for the next sevenyears, and will have to ensure that mail is delivered five days a week. A sixthday of postal services was ruled out as it would cost an additional 9 millioneuros per year.

flag Irish Central: "Mailman gets jail term after robbing $3 million to feedmassive gambling addiction"

flag Gazette: A visit to the Colesville Post Office highlights why the PostalService has financial problems. Typically, four service personnel are availableat the counter for customers who need personal service, and one automated postalmachine is for self-service customers. However, a postal worker often sits on astool in front of the self-service machine. This worker asks customers for theirinformation and enters it for them. A line forms while this worker slowly entersthe information, places the stamp on the item and then carries it to the servicecounter for mailing. This is self-service?

flag Post & Parcel: Postal Digest – News from Brazil Post, USPS, Deutsche Post,Latvian Post.

The latest issue of the
PostComBulletin is available online.
 In thisissue:

  • In response to a proposal put forth by the Mailers Technical AdvisoryCommittee ("MTAC") to define the term "mail owner" in the context of completingthe "By/For" section of postage statements and in eDocs, the Association forPostal Commerce communicated its concerns over the "By/For" requirement in aletter to the General Counsel of the U.S. Postal Service.
  • There quite apparently will be no new postal legislation enacted this yearbefore the 112th Congress adjourns sine die. Any hope for a meaningful postalreform bill will have to be held in abeyance until the 113th Congress comes totown.
  • An update on notices published in the Federal Register
  • An update on notices regarding changes to the Domestic Mail Manual.
  • An update from the USPS Office of Inspector General.
  • A review of postal news from around the world.
  • Postal previews.
Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom Bulletin--the best postal newsletter none?  Send us by email your name, company, company title, postal and email address. Get a chance to see what you've been missing.

The PostCom Bulletin is distributed via NetGram

flag Reason: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night could stop thesepostal employees from stealing checks.Between April and September of this year,171 Postal Service employees were arrested for theft, willful delay ordestruction of mail, according to a new report by the USPS inspector general.

From the Federal Register:

  • Postal Regulatory Commission
    RULES Product List Updates , 75377–75379 [2012–30605] [TEXT][PDF]
    NOTICES New International Mail Contracts , 75452–75453 [2012–30607] [TEXT][PDF]
  • Postal Service
    Mailing Standards for DomesticMailing Services Products , 75362–75377[2012–30256] [TEXT][PDF]

UPS logo Forbes:"United Parcel Service Breaks Above 200-Day Moving Average - Bullish for UPS"

fedex logo New York Times: The FedEx Corporation said Wednesday that its profit fell 12percent in the second quarter, less than investors had feared, as it struggledto improve results at its air freight business. FedEx said shipments relating tothe holiday shopping season were on track to set a record. See also Bloomberg

December 19, 2012

flag Advertising Age: A couple years back I had a conversation with myaccountant. He told me "money is dangerous because success can hide failure."This is a good way to describe the conundrum now facing the mobile ad industry.While declarations of growth are abundant, the reality is that most mobileadvertising is failing. Large percentage rates of growth look great, but that'scoming off a tiny base. The truth is ad dollars are dripping—not flooding—intothe mobile, even though nearly 60% of U.S. mobile subscribers now carry asmartphone. This reason for this is not overly cautious marketers, however. It'sbecause the mobile platform simply isn't all it's cracked up to be.

oig Pushing the Envelope: "Is it Time for a Uniform Approach to Uniforms?" Doyou think a uniformed shirt for rural carriers would be an overall positivechange for the Postal Service as far as image, branding, marketing, andsecurity? Would a uniformed shirt for rural carriers give employees a largersense of unity and ownership to the mission of the Postal Service? Or is theidea of a uniform old-fashioned?

flag The Hill: Key lawmakers in both parties say the odds of a postal reformmeasure being enacted this year are growing slimmer and slimmer. With just twoweeks left in 2012, congressional negotiators say they are making progress on arange of knotty issues, in their attempts to offer assistance to thecash-strapped U.S. Postal Service (USPS). But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid(D-Nev.) is concerned that there's not enough time to deal with postallegislation without an unlikely agreement on unanimous consent, a Democraticleadership aide said. The aide said postal reform was also a long shot to beincluded in a year-end tax-and-spending agreement. "We're not there yet, and alot of people outside this group negotiating don't like what they hear ourcompromises are," Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), the chairman of the HomelandSecurity Committee, told reporters on Tuesday. "And at this stage of thesession, if there's any real controversy, there's no time to do it, so I'mpessimistic."

flag eCommerceBytes: eBay Canada alerted users to changes coming to the nationalpostal service. In February, Canada Post will introduce two lower-cost trackableservices for U.S. and International shipments: Tracked Packet - USA and TrackedPacket - International. At the same time, Canada Post will retire the SmallPacket - USA Ground service.

CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

flag The Belgian post has been hit with a fine yet again for abusing its dominant market position.
flag The Dutch government wants to grant regulating authority Opta more powers. Media reports state that business minister Kamp is about to present the parliament an amendment to the postal act, aimed at ensuring fair competition.
flag Mail volume in the world's 17 biggest mail markets have dropped by 18% overall between 2006 and 2011. These figures were published by British regulatory authority Ofcom. The biggest decline was seen in Britain, Italy and Spain (all of which lost 25% of mail volume), closely followed by the US (-23%). France and Canada saw a moderate decline of 13%, and Germany's mail volume dropped by 6%. Only emerging markets experienced a growth in volume: Brazil +3%, Russia +12% and China +3%. India as the fourth BRIC country maintained a fairly stable mail volume at -1%.
flag Deutsche Post is planning to set up a nationwide long distance coach network. In cooperation with Europe's leading automobile association ADAC, the post intends to 'connect Germany's most important centres nationwide', a company announcement stated last Friday. 'Like no other company in Germany, Deutsche Post stands for nationwide presence and reliability. We also bring our know-how in transportation and fleetmanagement into the market', said Jürgen Gerdes, head of the post's Mail Division. Preliminary launch date is early 2014.
flag The Polish post has turned down the sale of the post bank.
flag Switzerland's Federal Council has set a date for the reorganisation of the post to a public limited company.
flag There appears to be little interest in De-Mail on the part of German private customers.
flag Is New Zealand Post undergoing strategic realignment or selling off the family silver?
flag flag The French La Poste and ECT Correios are planning a closer cooperation.
flag Digital Post Australia has suffered a setback. After only nine months, Fuji Xerox Document Management Solutions pulled out of the start-up, which uses a digital postbox to compete with the post.
flag UPS is currently testing a new delivery concept in the inner city of Hamburg. A container gets loaded up with parcels at a UPS depot and is subsequently taken by lorry and positioned in the exclusive shopping street of "Neuer Wall", from where a number of delivery staff equipped with sack barrows or cargo bicycles carry out deliveries.
flag flag Japan Post and Singapore Post intend to jointly offer fulfilment services to Japanese e-commerce traders in future.
flag Could Amazon buy UPS or FedEx? US business magazine Forbes (10.12) speculates on a possible takeover of one of the integrators by the world's leading online trader. However, the speculation is based only on the estimate that Amazon would thus be able to 'secure the number one position in the same-day delivery market'. Market observers point to the many hurdles that would have to be overcome before a takeover could become reality.
flag flag Poste Italiane and China Post have signed a financial services cooperation agreement. CEO Massimo Sarmi of PI and Li Guohua, China Post's president, put their names under an agreement that will enable clients of both post banks to transfer money directly from an account in one bank to the other.
flag TNT Express Australia is currently testing a cooperation concept together with ParcelPoint, a parcel shop network. Parcels that could not be delivered because the addressee was out will over the next three months be dropped off by TNT in those approx. 1,000 retail outlets that offer ParcelPoint services.

The MRU, founded in 1992, is the onlyconsultancy 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.Tolearn more about the stories reported above, contact CEP News. (Weappreciate the courtesy extended by CEP News to help whet your appetite for moreof what CEP offers.)

 PostalTechnology International: DHL Global Forwarding and Freight, the air andocean freight specialist within Deutsche Post DHL, has announced it will move tothe new Airport Business Park development area at Budapest Airport. The companyalready has its cargo facility at the airport and is moving these twooff-airport branches to the Business Park area to save costs and streamlineoperations in Hungary.

From the Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act ,75199–75200 [2012–30606] [TEXT][PDF]New International Mail Contracts , 75200 [2012–30487] [TEXT][PDF]

December 18, 2012

flag Mid-Hudson News: Monday was the busiest day of the year for the US PostalService with 17.9 billion cards and letters cancelled nationwide and 700,000 inthe Mid-Hudson Valley. On a normal day, about 300,000 cards and letters areprocessed. In recent years, first class mail has declined all across the system,but package deliveries are up, said Postal Services spokesman George Flood.

flag Slovenian Press Agency: Market liberalisation of postal services,competition and the heavy devaluation of the share of the NKBM bank compelledPošta Slovenije to downgrade its projected 2012 profit from EUR 17.2m to EUR6.4m, said the postal services operator's general manager Boris Novak.

flag PrintWeek: Bosses at the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have reiteratedthe union's threat to get postal workers to boycott mail from downstream access(DSA) providers ahead of a ballot in the New Year.

flag WLS: A former U.S. Postal Service mail carrier was sentenced Tuesday to 21/2 years in federal prison for stealing more than $275,000 in donations thatwere mailed to a charity along his route in west suburban Berwyn.

flag Government Executive: Unions representing U.S. Postal Service workers arestaging a hunger strike this week to urge Congress to avoid dramatic changes tothe mail delivery agency as part of any new legislation in the lame-ducksession. The six-day hunger strike -- which started Monday and lasts throughSaturday -- is meant to symbolize the proposal to eliminate Saturday maildelivery, taking the Postal Service from a six to a five-day schedule. It is thesecond such strike by USPS advocates this year.

[PostCom logo]Ina letter to the Postal Service's General Counsel, the Association for PostalCommerce said that "a proposal to the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee("MTAC") to redefine the term 'mail owner' in the context of completing the'By/For' section of postage statements and in eDocs" was of concern to theAssociation for Postal Commerce and its members. PostCom noted that its members"seek assurances that however 'mail owner' is defined, the Postal Service willnot use information provided regarding the mail owner for proprietary purposes."

usps logo DMM Advisory: USPSIntroduces SingleSource ACS™. ACS™ is an on-piece address correction servicethat allows mailers to receive change-of-address (COA) and other reasons fornon-delivery electronically and reduces the number of manual (hardcopy) addressnotifications. Coming in January 2013, SingleSource ACS™ removes the need tohandle different ACS notice file formats when dealing with Full Service ACS™,OneCode ACS®, and Traditional ACS™. With SingleSource ACS, all of the ACSnotices are combined into a single file format and provided to mailers viaElectronic Product Fulfillment (EPF). SingleSource ACS can:

  • Provide ACS notices within 24 hours of receipt at USPS National CustomerService Center
  • Fulfill and provide monthly billing for non-Full Service qualified records
  • Include Full-Service, OneCode, and Traditional ACS in the OneCode ACS formatin a single file
  • Provide a daily download from Electronic Product Fulfillment.
For more information, please refer to the new SingleSource ACS Technical Guide available on RIBBS at

* * * * * There will be no new postal reform law this year. Next year, all will begin anew. * * * * *

[Federal News Radio] Federal News Radio: President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner(R-Ohio) may be closing in on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. It's one sure tomake federal retirees frown. The White House's new proposal includes a measurethat could reduce future cost-of-living adjustments for federal and militaryretirees and anyone who gets Social Security. Payments could shrink by 0.3percent each year.

flag TechCrunch: Europe is fast approaching a point at which broadband isbecoming ubiquitous among consumers, and with it is coming a surge of popularityfor online news, social media, and e-commerce. Today the European Commissionreleased details for how European countries have been adopting broadband, andwhat they are using it for. The top-line figures: in 2012 72% of households nowhave a broadband connection. And in a survey of what it is that people doonline, the most popular activity is newsreading, at 60%.

flag Smartgrid: Pitney Bowes released a white paper that offers strategies thatcan help mailers and service bureaus influence the effectiveness of direct mailsolutions for Standard Mail. According to a release, the white paper, titled"The Direct Answer," highlights recent changes and solutions in technology andmail operations, and offers insight on how new direct mail techniques andtechnologies can help organizations affect workflows, increase response ratesand lower costs.

flag Post & Parcel: TNT Post UK has won the chance for a Judicial Review overRoyal Mail's exemptions from charging business customers VAT. A High Court Judgedecided last week that the subsidiary of Dutch postal service PostNL should beallowed to challenge the protections that Royal Mail has against the 20% salestax. The challenge refers to both the VAT exemption Royal Mail has on"Downstream Access" mail and when providing end-to-end delivery services.

flag Daily Mirror: Last-minute festive post could be thrown into chaos by a RoyalMail strike on Friday. Postal engineers - who carry out maintenance and repairsat sites across the UK - are due to take action on what is traditionally one ofthe busiest days before Christmas. Their strike could delay deliveries ofpresents from online retailers and hold up ordinary post too. Although postmenand women themselves are not striking, it is understood some are unwilling tocross picket lines. An overwhelming 92% of Communication Workers' Union memberswho were balloted voted for strike action. And there could be travel misery asrail workers plan a series of stoppages across Britain in the run-up toChristmas.

flag Linex: While dozing over some catalogs that had arrived in the mail, I wasvisited by three Postal Service ghosts: the Ghosts of Postal Past, PostalPresent, and Postal Future.

flag The Forecaster: A plan to reduce post office hours early next year isgenerating opposition from some residents, and from Maine's two U.S.representatives. Chebeague is one of several Maine island communities where theU.S. Postal Service, in an effort to reduce costs, has proposed cutting postoffice hours from eight hours a day to four or even two, according to U.S. Reps.Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud. In a letter to Postmaster General PatrickDonahoe, the two Maine Democrats said they are "very concerned that limitingoperating hours to such a level threatens the ability of these islands tocontinue as full-time communities." Besides Chebeague, the lawmakers said postoffices on Long and Swans islands, Cranberry Isles, Isleboro and North Haven areat risk.

December 17, 2012

flag Bloomberg Businessweek: Russia plans to revamp the postal system next yearto boost the country's $10 billion Internet commerce business and help companiesincluding EBay Inc. (EBAY) and to improve deliveries. TheTelecommunications Ministry plans to submit a draft proposal to the Parliamentin the first half of 2013, spokeswoman Ekaterina Osadchaya said by phone today.The Russian Post should improve its distribution network for e-commerce,according to the ministry. "The main problem with the Russian Post is itsunpredictability," Vladimir Dolgov, head of EBay for Russia, said in aninterview. "Sometimes it delivers in decent time, but there have been cases whendeliveries from the U.S. took six to eight weeks."

flag Financial Times: The coalition is pressing ahead with plans for Royal Mail's150,000 staff to own at least 10 per cent of the business as it acceleratespreparations to privatise the state-owned postal operator.

flag The Moscow News: Last year's turnover for Russian post was estimated at309.4 billion rubles, with 75 percent of deliveries – physical goods, accordingto a study conducted by the Russian Association of Electronic Communications andHigher School of Economics' Research Institute. Experts predict a 27-percentgrowth in 2012. However, Pochta Rossii is also seen as hampering online retailmarket growth by its ineffectiveness, forcing many companies to organize theirown delivery services. Last year Russians bought 30-billion-rubles worth ofgoods from abroad. However, delivery times for Russia are very long. PochtaRossii's own development strategy for 2012-2016 states that there are fewer postoffices in these countries per household, and in Russia 11,000 offices, or aquarter of the total, have to be closed. However, they are still operatingaccording to Soviet norms, and 392,000 people work for Pochta Rossii (most ofthem members of the All-Russia Front.) The Russian postal service is trying tomake money on selling various items in post offices (13 percent of its income)and provide financial services (40 percent), but several months ago they werecriticized for offering small loans at a rate of 2,800 percent a year.

flag Plymouth Herald: Postal workers afraid of the Royal Mail's privatisation areholding a protest today. Unions are angry that posties already deliver piles ofrivals' mail – and are calling for Ofcom to step in. Private postal company mailhas rocketed in recent years and now makes up 45 per cent of letter volumesdelivered by Royal Mail.

flag BBC: About 100 postal workers at a delivery office in south Bristol arestaging a second one-day strike. They first walked out for 24 hours on 10December after talks between Royal Mail and union officials broke down. TheCommunication Workers Union (CWU) says its members are on strike because theyare being asked to do more work with fewer people.

twitterPostCom @PostCom2 #uspsReminder: January 28, 2013, is almost here...are you ready? To be eligible forautomation discounts you must use the IMb.

flag Scoop: New Zealand Post, the state-owned postal service, agreed to sell its35 percent stake in Datacom Group to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund for$142 million to repay debt and bolster its capital.

December 16, 2012

flag Washington Examiner: After lots of effort it looked like 2012 might finallybe the year Congress passed legislation making major reforms at the U.S. PostalService, a quasi-private corporation owned by the U.S. government that has beenburning through money faster than a clean-energy company with a grant from theObama Administration. House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has beenworking for almost two years on a plan for real change at the U.S.P.S. Issawould give the U.S. Postmaster General the authority to make many of the samekind of tough calls a private-sector CEO must make in difficult times. The Issaapproach is the right way to go. It may be unhelpful to the postal unions butit's definitely the right approach to "save the company" without triggeringanother billion dollar taxpayer-funded bailout because of someone's legacycosts. It also would create an important legislative precedent for dealing withother bloated federal agencies and departments.

flag Daily Freeman: The old-fashioned custom of sending Christmas cards in anincreasingly Digital world just isn't what it used to be — at least, accordingto industry figures. Last year, U.S. consumers bought 1.5 billion holiday cards,said the Greeting Card Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade organization.By contrast, 2.7 billion Christmas cards were sold in 1995, according to thegroup.

flag Washington Post: Despite ongoing talks between Senate Democrats and HouseRepublicans, it appears unlikely that lawmakers will strike a deal in theclosing weeks of the year to assist the ailing U.S. Postal Service, which isseeking changes to restrictions on its delivery schedule and pension paymentschedule.

flag Punch: The Nigeria Postal Service has set a 24-hour mail delivery for 80 percent of mails posted within the Lagos zone of the postal organisation.

December 15, 2012

flag The Telegraph: The Christmas card may not have realised it yet, but it isdead. Well, dying. Let's just say it is drifting in and out of consciousnesswhile muttering incomprehensibly to itself. The main reason, this year at least,is the dramatic increase in the price of second-class stamps, from 36p to 50p.The average number of cards sent per person is expected to fall by a quarter asa direct consequence. I like you, but not enough to spend 50p on you – 36p, yes,50p, no. There are ways around stamps, of course. I heard of a gathering theother day at which half the guests brought along Christmas cards to handdeliver, while the other half looked on in slight disapproval, as if this wasn'treally playing the game.

flag Financial Times: Royal Mail has appointed three investment banks to adviseit as preparations to privatise the world's oldest postal service step up agear. Barclays, which had already been advising the state-owned company, hasbeen confirmed as its adviser, but Bank of America Merrill Lynch and GoldmanSachs have been brought in to provide extra support.

UPS logo MSNMoney: The deliveries of letters, documents, packages and cargo with adestination or origin or both lying outside the U.S. constitute theinternational delivery segment of United Parcel Service, and we believe thissegment will drive the company's long-term growth given the growth ofinternational trade and the quicker economic growth of emerging markets. Incontrast, the domestic U.S. delivery segment, which is currently the mostvaluable segment, will see comparatively lower rates of growth going forward.And due to the very nature of UPS's business, its rate of growth in a region ishighly correlated with the rate of growth of that region's economy as higherbusiness activity translates to greater business communication and merchandisetransport.

fedex logoUPS logo LouisvilleBuisness Journal: The shipping war between United Parcel Service Inc. andFedEx Corp. is heating up this holiday season, the Wall Street Journal reports.According to the newspaper, each company is offering additional services to winover consumers. UPS is pushing its My Choice service, which offers up-to-dateshipping alerts. FedEx, in the meantime, is touting its Saturday service.

December 14, 2012 

usps logo DMM Advisory: IMb™Services Update. Reminder: January 28, 2013, is almost here...are you ready?Have you converted from POSTNET® to the Intelligent Mail® barcode (IMb™)? To beeligible for automation discounts you must use the IMb. Contact those who canhelp speed up the conversion: your software vendor, your mail service provideror your local USPS® manager, Business Mail Entry. We are here to help.

flag Shanghai Daily: There are many signs that traditional media are no longerwhat they once were. As newspaper sales fall, news stands are being closed,print editions are ending, and those media remaining are forced to aggressivelydiversify to stay afloat. The most ominous sign is that traditional newspapersare no longer looked up to as a source of information. The cyber world not onlyoutshines traditional media as whistle blowers, but is also taking over the dutytraditionally expected of disciplinary authority. While it is yet early toforesee its long term impacts, there are signs this new paradigm shift isalready causing considerable damage to traditional media. It already poses aserious challenge to the concept of professional journalism, as practiced bytrained reporters, rather than the so-called citizen journalists. As traditionalmedia as a commercial concept has become passe, quality newspapers and magazinescan only be sustained by non-commercial considerations. The sooner ourpoliticians wake up to this, the better.

flag Post & Parcel: Mail volumes have fallen by 18% in the world's 17 majormarkets since 2006, most rapidly in the UK, Italy, Spain and North America.While mail volumes grew slightly in recent years within emerging economies ofBrazil, Russia and China, among the world's other major mail markets volumesfell by 67bn items between 2006 and 2011. In the UK, Italy and Spain mail volumefell more than 25%, while in North America volumes fell 23% during that time,although as the world's largest market, the United States had the largest volumedecline in terms of mailpieces. The UK had the largest absolute volume declinein Europe. Russia has seen the biggest growth in mail volumes in the last fewyears, up 12%. Mail revenues among the 17 major nations studied fell by anaverage of 5% since 2006, with the United States worst off with a 12% drop inmail revenue. China, Russia and Brazil were the only major markets where mailrevenues grew from 2006 to 2011. China achieved an 86% increase in its mailrevenues over the study period, while Brazil saw the largest monetary gain inrevenues, of GBP 1.3bn.

flag Post & Parcel: PostNL has agreed to join the Sprinter Network, thecross-border overnight road transport network for priority letters, ascoordinated by the International Post Corporation.

flag Fiji Broadcasting Corporation: There will be an increase in domestic postalrates come Monday. Post Fiji says the postal rate increase is for domesticletters, domestic sea/surface parcels and domestic air parcels. Internationalpostal rates for letters and parcels will remain unchanged.

flag The Diplomat: January 1, 2013, won't be a symbolic day just as the beginningof the New Year, but for the Romanian postal market as well, as it marks thebeginning of liberalization. While other European states, such as Sweden in1993, and Great Britain in 2005, long ago gave up the monopoly of a state-runpostal company, Romania has joined the group of European countries that haveopted for a gradual liberalization of the market, which includes Italy, Spainand Greece.

flag Philippine Information Agency: The Philippine Postal Corporation (PhlPost)has launched its prepaid postal payment service. In a statement, PostmasterGeneral Ma. Josefina M. Dela Cruz said PhilPost is now involved in cash andparcel deliveries besides the traditional mail.

flag Zambia Daily Mail: Professional life Assurance Limited has partnered withZambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST) to offer free life assurance coverto all Swiftcash customers in the country.

The latest issue of the
PostComBulletin is available online.
 In thisissue:

  • The Postal Regulatory Commission has reviewed the revised Standard Mailpricing proposals, submitted by the Postal Service on November 26, 2012. Basedon its review of the record, including parties' comments, the Commission findsprovisionally that the revised planned price adjustments do not violate theprice cap in 39 U.S.C. 3622(d); are consistent with, or justified by anexception to, the workshare discount limitations in 39 U.S.C. 3622(e); establishprices that satisfy 39 U.S.C. 3626; and satisfy applicable Commissiondirectives.
  • The Postal Regulatory Commission has approved the mail classificationschedule descriptions and prices for nonpostal service products.
  • The House Republican Conference votes this week on a slate of new Committeechairs for the 113th Congress, which begins in January 2013.
  • David Hendel of Husch Blackwell describes for us the visits he recentlyreceived from the Ghosts of Postal Past, Present, and Future.
  • Consumers continue to favor offline ads, digital formats lose ground. MTACpresentations now available. 23,600 postal employees take buyout. Postal scamimpersonates state government. Officials: USPS's advice for bulk mailers‘ridiculous.' USPS plans to sell magazine subscriptions. Online retailers payshipping costs to keep sales going. Time's ‘Person of the Year': your UPSdriver? Catalog mailings increase, provide USPS revenue boost. FedEx overchargedcustomers for years, sealed e-mail says. Taub to become next PRC vice chair.Carper to be named Chairman of Senate committee on postal issues. Junk mailrelief - bad for business.
  • Updates from the Federal Register that affect the mailing industry.
  • A review of postal news from around the world.
  • Postal previews.
Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom Bulletin--the best postal newsletter none?  Send us by email your name, company, company title, postal and email address. Get a chance to see what you've been missing.

The PostCom Bulletin is distributed via NetGram

Notesfrom the MTAC Focus Group sessions were posted under the heading "Quarterly MTACNotes and Slides" on the MTAC page of the Postal Service's RIBBS website: . They are organized by focusarea/track, each of which includes notes for all four class of mail sessions:Mail Preparation & Entry (Operations); Visibility/Service PerformanceMeasurement; Payment & Acceptance, and Product Development.

Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Nagisa Manabe has announced a restructuredMarketing and Sales organization, focused to achieve growth in both the PostalService and the overall mailing and shipping industry.

  • New Products and Innovation Gary Reblin will serve as vicepresident, New Products and Innovation, a role that will include productdevelopment for Direct Mail and Periodicals, Emerging Technologies, New BusinessOpportunities, Product Integration, Shipping Products, Transaction andCorrespondence Mail, Product Support, and Innovation.
  • Brand Marketing — Manabe announced the creation of a new marketingdepartment, which will be led by an Executive Director of Brand Marketing.Dan Barrett, currently manager, New Business Opportunities, has agreed toserve as acting director in the short term. This new organization is responsiblefor marketing USPS products and services with a focus on Small Business,Shipping, Mail, Market Research, Retail and Digital Marketing, and MarketingServices.
  • Sales Cliff Rucker will continue as vice president, Sales,overseeing functional roles and responsibilities that include Business CustomerIntelligence, Field Sales Strategy and Contracts, National Business Alliances,National Operations Integration, National Sales, Sales Operations and Planning,National Strategic Accounts, and Customer Retention.
  • Channel Access Kelly Sigmon will continue in her role asvice president, Channel Access. The group's key focus will include RetailAlliances, Channel Management and Strategy, Retail Business Technology, andRetail Services.
  • Pricing Jeff Williamson will continue as vice president,Pricing. This organization consists of Competitive Products Pricing; Pricing andClassification Service Center; Product Classification, Pricing; and, Pricing andPricing Innovations.
  • Global Business Giselle Valera will continue as vicepresident, Global Business, overseeing Global Business Solutions, GlobalBusiness Management, International Postal Affairs, International Strategy andBusiness Development Support, and Asia Pacific Relations.
  • Stamp Services and Corporate Licensing — Stamp Services and CorporateLicensing have been combined to leverage and drive opportunities for growth ofstamps as the Postal Service's most visible brand. Susan McGowan,currently senior manager of Public Relations and Promotions, will serve asdirector, Stamp Services and Corporate Licensing. The new organization consistsof Stamp Fulfillment Services, Stamp Manufacturing, Stamp Products andExhibitions, Stamp Development, and Corporate Licensing. Stephen Kearney ismoving to Sales to lead the Customer Retention group.

December 13, 2012 

flag BusinessWire: Pitney Bowes technology was selected by the U.S. PostalService® (USPS) to begin providing support and maintenance of its network ofpostal meters. A 6-year contract valued at up to $32 million for meters andmeter supplies will enable the Postal Service to nationally standardize itsmeter needs using a single leading edge design. The contract also includes theprovision of systems and support to meet the U.S. Joint Military PostalCommand's needs nationally and internationally.

flag MyPrintResource: Along with competing media platforms and the economy, thegraphic arts community is faced with another critical issue; the publicperception that the use of paper (vs. digital) is bad for the environment. Papercompanies and allied advocacy groups are fighting back, employing a range oftactics to dispel the myth.

[PostCom logo] PostCom Members!! : The latest issue of the PostCom Quarterly has been posted online. In this issue:

  • The year in review
  • Transition from paper to electronic to virtual mail documentation
  • The roadmap ahead
  • Improving the customer experience
  • AN address is not what always meets the eye!
  • When the vote counts, mail delivers
  • USPS 2013 winter network consolidations
  • It fits. It ships. PMOD
  • Kathy's Korner

flag UNRIC: Private-public partnerships can play an effective part in increasingdisaster preparedness and response, according to UN officials andrepresentatives of global corporations who took part in a debate in New Yorkthis week. The event was hosted by the missions of Turkey and Germany to theUnited Nations, with the aim of highlighting the role of the private sector inreducing the suffering caused by natural hazards.

flag Post & Parcel: Polish Post said today that its courier division, Pocztex, isnow offering free insurance for all parcels.

flag Times of Malta: The September 2012 full-year results published by Maltapostplc last week may have surprised many investors in more than one way. Pre-taxprofits declined by 32 per cent to €2.1 million – but many market participantspossibly expected a worse result given the 52 per cent drop in profits in thefirst half of the financial year and the directors' warning on August 17 thatthe rate of profitability decline may accelerate until the revised tariffs areintroduced.

flag Washington Post: Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat who is among thosepressing for legislation to reform the U.S. Postal Service's finances, haslaunched a website with an eye-catching ticker aimed at pressuring HouseRepublicans to act: It tracks the agency's losses to the dollar.

Bloomberg: This isn't the kind of help the U.S. Postal Service had in mindwhen it asked Congress to pass a bill affecting it before adjourning for theyear. The House, which hasn't acted on a broad postal reform bill proposedalmost a year ago, today ended a requirement that financial institutions sendcustomers a privacy notice each year — via U.S. Mail — unless they have changedprivacy policies. "Not only will this legislation end the redundant mailings,but it also will make it more likely that people will pay closer attention toimportant mailings they receive from their financial institutions because theyare receiving fewer," the bill's sponsor, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, a MissouriRepublican, said. Luetkemeyer, in a statement last year, called on the serviceto "adapt to meet the challenges of the future" while also chiding them not tocut service to his rural Missouri constituents. [EdNote: This is just anothermanifestation of that Washington phenomenon called "invincible ignorance."]

South China Morning Post: Lance Armstrong resisted turning over recordssought by US Postal Service investigators, then tried to keep the inquiry underseal and out of the public eye, according to recently released court documents.Last year, Postal Service officials investigating Armstrong and his teams fordoping wanted records from his team management groups, financial statements,training journals and correspondence with former training consultant MicheleFerrari.

  At the Postal Regulatory Commission:  The Postal Regulatory Commission has announced that Commissioner Robert G. Taub will succeed Commissioner Nanci Langleyin the role of Vice Chairman effective January 1, 2013. Taub was unanimouslyselected by his colleagues. Under PRC policy, Taub will serve as Vice Chairmanfor a term of one year.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) has been named the anticipated Chairman of theCommittee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The anticipatedcommittee assignments aresubject to approval by the full Democratic caucus and approval of an organizingresolution by the full Senate when the 113th Congress convenes in January.

Thedeadline for MAILCOM 2013 advanced registration is December 15, 2012.Register by Dec. 15 and save $150 off the regular rate. MAILCOM 2013 will beheld April 28-May 1, 2013 at the Tropicana Grand Exhibition Center in AtlanticCity. Over 175 seminars, keynotes, and workshops will be presented. Theexhibition will feature 100+ booths of the latest mail systems technology. SuperBowl Champion Joe Namath will be one of four keynotes. He speaks Tuesday, April30 at 12:00 pm. Plus, over 15 tracks of education will be offered as part of themanagement certificate program. Sign up today: To register: To book your hotel room (recommended): Tropicana Hotel Room Reservations Questions: Call 1-732-280-8865 or email The website is being updated daily and will havecourse descriptions posted shortly.

Tampa Bay Times: "Post office fails to deliver for Toys for Tots"

December 12, 2012

flag The Botswana Gazette: The Botswana Post's workforce transformation drive hasseen more than two thirds of its employees applying for the early exit packagesas the quasi state enterprise prepares for the merger with the Botswana SavingsBank (BSB).

flag 4-Traders: Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI) today announced that DebbiePfeiffer has been appointed president of Pitney Bowes Presort Services. Pfeifferwill be responsible for the Presort Services business within Mail Services andwill report to Vicki O'Meara, president of Pitney Bowes Services Solutions. JayOxton, president of Pitney Bowes Mail Services, will retire from the company atthe end of February 2013.

flag Post & Parcel: Ministers in the Netherlands introduced new postallegislation today that they say will improve competition in the Dutch postalmarket. Economic affairs minister Henk Kamp said the bill proposes measures thatwould allow the country's postal regulator, the OPTA, to intervene in the marketmuch earlier in the event that mail businesses face unfair competition. At themoment, the OPTA can only take action against national postal service PostNLwhen there have been complaints from rivals about an abuse of PostNL's dominantposition in the market.

flag Warsaw Business Journal: The management board at state-run post officemonopoly Poczta Polska has rejected an offer from PKO BP for the purchase of itssubsidiary bank, Bank Pocztowy, reported.

flag Post & Parcel: Belgian competition authorities have slapped national postalservice bpost with an extra EUR 37.4m fine for abusing its position in thedomestic market. The move follows a EUR 2.3m fine imposed by the country'spostal regulator back in July 2011, against which bpost is still appealing.

flagflag Post & Parcel: Scandinavian postal operator PostNord is in the hunt for anew chief executive, after Lars Idermark resigned his position. Idermark who hasbeen in charge for two years at the parent group of Sweden's Posten AB andDenmark's Post Danmark, has decided to take the president/CEO role at theforestry group Södra.

CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

flag The Communication Workers Union (CWU) threatens to radicalise its resistance against the privatisation of Royal Mail.
flag A regional manager of the China Post has been executed for corruption.
flag Deutsche Post has to pay a fine for the delivery of unrequested advertisements.
flag Private postal operator Pin Mail failed with its action for damages against the Federal Republic of Germany.
flag Given the full opening of the postal market on January 1 2013, the Romanian post office plans to expand into new business areas. According to CEO Ion Smeeianu, Posta Romana should offer insurance brokerage and financial services. This could be offered in the framework of a partnership with a bank or through an own postal bank.
flag Taiwan's government ordered Chunghwa Post's to cut the budget. In the middle of last week, the country's parliament decided to reduce the post's expenses by around 15m euros next year. The decision was triggered by Chunghwa Post's practise to distribute unused funds as bonuses to its employees.
flag Yamato, Japan's leading CEP and logistics service provider again recorded growing volumes in its parcel business in November.
flag Former parcel service managers want to establish an independent parcel shop network in the UK.
flag The Polish post office struggles to meet the quality targets for standard mail. With 70.8% of letters delivered on the next working day, Poczta Polska remained significantly below the quality target (D+1=82%) for its premium product Priority Mail ('Priorytetowe') in the second quarter of the current year.
flag It was disclosed now that beside the accession of Spain (CEP-News 49/12) other agreements were also signed on the Postal Euromed conference in Marrakesh. According to these agreements, the Italian and the Moroccan post will establish a money transfer system between the two countries. Poste Italiane already struck similar agreements with the Vatican post and the Maltese post.
flag Cameroon's postal operator announced the launch of an e-Post project. In the course of the project, a central data centre will be built and all post offices will be connected with each other inter alia.

The MRU, founded in 1992, is the onlyconsultancy 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.Tolearn more about the stories reported above, contact CEP News. (Weappreciate the courtesy extended by CEP News to help whet your appetite for moreof what CEP offers.)

  At the Postal Regulatory Commission: MC2010-24 Order No. 1575 - Order Approving Mail Classification ScheduleDescriptions and Prices for Nonpostal Service Products.

December 11, 2012

flag Bloomberg: FedEx Corp. (FDX) has been "systematically overcharging"customers by billing businesses and government offices at higher residentialrates, a company sales executive said in an internal e-mail unsealed in alawsuit. "I have brought this to attention of many people over the past five orsix years, including more than one managing director, and no action has beentaken to address it," Alan Elam wrote in an e-mail on Aug. 2, 2011. "My beliefis that we are choosing not to fix this issue because it is worth so much moneyto FedEx," Elam said in a separate e-mail that day. The e-mails were unsealedyesterday in a class-action, or group, lawsuit claiming FedEx Corp. and FedExCorporate Services Inc. overcharged commercial and government customers as muchas $3 each for millions of packages delivered. The plaintiffs, who claimviolations of federal civil racketeering laws, seek three times the amount ofthe alleged overcharges in their lawsuit.

flag The Record: It's supposed to be a time when festive packages are deliveredwith care and yuletide greeting cards are opened with glee. But for some CanadaPost customers — and the postal employees who have to deal with their complaints— it's not exactly the hap-happiest time of the year. As the volume of lettersand parcels being delivered by the Crown corporation reaches massive levels overthe holidays so, too, does the griping. When Canada Post issued a release on itsFacebook page Dec. 3, urging people to check international send-by dates forChristmas packages, there were dozens of not-so-kind responses from peoplebitterly upset about lost parcels, late deliveries and high postage costs.

flag Nooga: An increasing number of young professionals may use catalogs forChristmas shopping, and—aside from helping retail sales—catalog mailings alsoprovide a boost to the United States Postal Service, which has been strugglingwith budget woes in recent years. "Mail order catalogs bring in much-neededrevenue for the Postal Service," USPS spokesman David Walton said via email.CNBC reported that, according to the Direct Marketing Association, companiesspent 10.4 billion on direct mail catalogs in 2011. That's an increase of $9.9billion in 2010. And more and more young adults who earn more than $50,000 ayear said they will use catalogs for their holiday shopping this year, accordingto CNBC and the National Retail Federation.

  At the Postal Regulatory Commission: Docket No. R2013-1: The Postal Regulatory Commissionhas approved the Postal Service's adjusted Standard Mail flat rates.

UPS logo Forbes:TIME's 'Person Of The Year': Your UPS Driver? It's not out of the question, andhere's why. Global e-commerce sales may reach $1 trillion next year, growing ata rate of 19.4% annually. To handle that demand, a Global B2D(Business-To-Doorstep) Supply Chain is growing at breakneck-speed in hopes ofmeeting every package, logistic, fulfillment, payment, enterprise resourceplanning (ERP), radio-frequency ID (RFID), and reverse logistic need.

flag Wall Street Journal: The U.S. Department of Justice may not be finished withLance Armstrong. While federal prosecutors dropped a criminal fraudinvestigation against Mr. Armstrong, DOJ officials in Washington are stillconsidering whether to join a whistleblower lawsuit filed by his formerteammate, Floyd Landis. Under the whistleblower law, the government canintervene in Mr. Landis's suit, essentially pursuing the case on its own behalf.According to people with knowledge of the case, the Postal Service's Office ofthe Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Justice have been investigatingMr. Landis's allegations and continue to weigh whether to join the case. Thoughthe case is technically convened on behalf of the government, Mr. Landis standsto collect up to 30% of any money the government recovers. If found to haveviolated the False Claims Act, Mr. Armstrong and others named in the suit wouldbe liable for triple the amount of the sponsorship.

flag FreshBusinessThinking: According to a survey from Postcode Anywhere of 3,000consumers across Canada, the US and the UK, UK consumers are more satisfied withonline shopping than our transatlantic cousins. The findings come as no surpriseto Guy Mucklow, CEO of Postcode Anywhere, who says that it is reflective of anaddress infrastructure that is far less evolved than that of the UK, with analarming lack of attention to the data and the quality of technology used onecommerce websites: "While the US Postal Service address database gives verycomprehensive property level coverage of the country and is easy to license,it's fair to say that most Americans are parochial when it comes to addressing.

flag Sunatimes: Although, all infrastructures in Somalia were absolutely groundedduring the war, Information, Post and Telecommunication minister Abdullah ElmogeHirsi remained optimistic that the country's postal service will resume work thesoonest possible. Reviving the country's postal service will be of greatsignificant to the local population which has been forced to use old ways tosend letters and parcels for the last two decades.

December 10, 2012

usps logo PRNewswire: Direct mail remains a medium of choice for holiday shoppers andmarketers alike. And enhanced with mobile and web technologies like QR codes,personalized URLs and augmented reality, it's engaging consumers like neverbefore.

flag AllAfrica: As Liberia gradually creeps on the pathway of the technologicalrevolution, Government is endeavoring to digitize its operations at every levelof the public sector. The latest is the Ministry of Post and Telecommunicationwhich has announced a move from analog to ditigal.

flag The Columbus Dispatch: "Online retailers pay shipping costs to keep salesgoing. Shoppers have come to expect postage to be paid."

flag ITV: Postal workers at a depot in South Bristol are on strike today in a rowover conditions. Staff at the Mead Street sorting office in Bedminster say theirworkloads are unacceptable. This is the first in a series of strikes beforeChristmas, and was called after talks between the Communication Workers Unionand Royal Mail broke down.

flag The Herald: POSTAL workers are preparing for a day of action to highlightfears of the Royal Mail's privatisation. Unions are angry that posties alreadydeliver piles of rivals' mail – and are calling for Ofcom to step in.

flag Post & Parcel: John Modd interviews Wagner Pinheiro de Oliveira, presidentof Brazil Post (Correios), which hosts the next World Mail and Express Americasconference, in February 2013. Brazil is now ranked as one of the most importanteconomies, not just in the Americas, but globally. The national postal operator,Empresa de Correios e Telegraphos (ECT), is also recognised as one of theworld's leading posts.

flag WCSI: Four additional Village Post Offices will open in the Greater IndianaDistrict in the same week as Shelbyville. Tyner opens on Tuesday, Dugger openson Thursday, and Cannelton and Dubois open on Friday. The 100th Village PostOffice in the nation opens in Linden on Wednesday, December 19.

December 9, 2012

flag The Financial Express: The Department of Posts (India Post), plans todevelop a business structure for selling postal and postal financial productsonline. It also plans to sell non-postal products, particularly villageindustries and small and medium enterprise products, online. Pegged at aninitial cost of around R100 crore, India Post has kept the roll out ofe-commerce services as one of the top priorities under the 12th Five Year Planperiod. India Post will also create an e-market place consisting of e-shops setup by suppliers chosen through a comprehensive selection process, involvingquality testing. "Tie-ups with one or more e-commerce majors would be put inplace, which would help India Post manage the portal on a day-to-day basis andto market the same," a senior official said.

flag Dead Tree EditionThe U.S. Postal Service, at the urging of publishers, isplanning to sell magazine subscriptions on its web site and to promote them atpost offices.

December 8, 2012

flag D.Eadward Tree @DeadTreeEdition Just joined fairly new Printing Impressionsgroup on LinkedIn -- good discussions and (so far) no spam.

flag Wall Street Journal: 'You're looking at the premium package, right?'Companies today are increasingly tying people's real-life identities to theironline browsing habits. The widening ability to associate people's real-lifeidentities with their browsing habits marks a privacy milestone, furtherblurring the already unclear border between our public and private lives. Inpursuit of ever more precise and valuable information about potential customers,tracking companies are redefining what it means to be anonymous.

flag The Telegraph: Royal Mail plans to cut by more than half the maximum amountof compensation that customers can get for damaged or lost post, just monthsafter raising the price of stamps.

flag Bethel Patch: Attorney General George Jepsen and state Department of SocialServices Commissioner Roderick Bremby are cautioning consumers about a postalscam involving fraudulent sweepstakes award notifications accompanied by a bogusgovernment check bearing the State of Connecticut seal and purporting to be fromthe Department of Social Services. The attorney general said his office hadreceived several complaints about the scam. Typically the award notificationarrives in an envelope stamped in another state, or another country. Thenotification instructs the "winner" to deposit the fraudulent check into theirbank account and immediately withdraw money to wire under the pretense that thewire transfer will cover administrative fees or taxes on the purported winnings.The "check" eventually bounces and the consumer is out the full amount,including the money wired to the scammers. "While the check may look real, it isfraudulent and should not be deposited," said Attorney General Jepsen. "Thisscheme is the latest variation on the check overpayment and money-wiring scamsthat have plagued consumers in recent years."

flag Bluefield Daily Telegraph: The U.S. Postal Service is asking localbusinesses that mail in bulk to consider mailing earlier or driving toCharleston for speedy first-class delivery as part of the second phase ofconsolidating the Bluefield Mail Processing and Distributing Center. In a lettersent to area businesses, the postal service requested bulk mailing businesseseither have their first-class mail received by 3 p.m. or "considering enteringyour mail at the Charleston facility" on or by Feb. 1, 2013 when the secondphase of the consolidation of the facility begins. Mayor Linda Whalen said it is"ludicrous" to expect Bluefield businesses or anyone in the local area to make afour-hour round-trip drive to Charleston to send mail. Delegate-elect John Shottsaid he thinks it is "unrealistic" to suggest anyone drive from Bluefield toCharleston for mail delivery. U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., also describedasking Mercer County businesses to take their mail to Charleston as"ridiculous." "It underscores just how impractical some of these of these mailfacility consolidations are," Rahall said. "I have been pushing back againstthese closures and consolidations since the beginning and I am somewhatencouraged that, at least for now, the postal service has backed away fromclosing so many of our post offices as originally proposed. Although, we stillmust contend with reduced hours and the loss of our mail processing facility inBluefield. I will keep pushing hard and I encourage residents to do the same inpreserving the mail delivery services we are entitled to under the law."

flag Washington Post: From an address by Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayers to theCorporate Executive Board -- "Great retention metrics could tell us thatwe've become the Postal Service." [EdNote: I don't think she said that out ofadmiration of the Postal Service as a corporate model.]

UPS logo flag NASDAQ: United Parcel Service Inc. ( UPS ) is planningto sell TNT Express'assets to the European Union to meet the antitrust requirements for thecompletion of the impending acquisition of the latter. The two companies havereportedly decided upon selling TNT business units to 13 countries of theEuropean Union and provide access to UPS' networks in order to secure the $6.8billion acquisition deal. The divestiture, which will resolve UPS'acquisition-related concerns, is now subject to customer and competitorfeedback. It will also help the European Commissionin giving the green signal tothe biggest deal in the 105-year history of UPS.

flag Federal Times: A huge U.S. Postal Service early-out offer is attractingthousands more takers than an identical pitch three years ago. As of Nov. 28,about 23,600 full-time postal workers had signed up for the offer, whichcombines a $15,000 buyout with an early retirement package for longer-servingemployees, according to a spokeswoman for the American Postal Workers Union.Virtually all of the approximately 188,000 clerks, mechanics and other employeesrepresented by the APWU are eligible.

December 7, 2012

flag Courier, Express, and Postal Observer: Dan Goodwill, the President of DanGoodwill & Associates, a leading provider of freight management consultingservices to shippers, carriers and 3PL's throughout North America has justposted his list of the top 10 transportation stories of 2012. While a nearly allof them affect the U.S. and Canadian competitors in the courier express andpostal (CEP) industry, the following are likely to have the biggest impact onimpact on the industry in 2013 and beyond.

twitter PostCom @PostCom2 Presentations from Nov #USPS Leadership Forum and MTAC Focus Group sessions have been posted

flag PrintInTheMix: The latest annual AdReaction study, focusing on consumeropinions and perceptions of advertising, finds that even in this digital-centricclimate, U.S. consumers are likely to view offline media ads most favorably --with TV viewed positively by 49% of respondents, followed by magazine ads (41%),and newspaper ads (40%). The 2012 study finds the most positive attitudestowards digital ads are for opt-in email ads, which 28% of respondents find veryor somewhat favorable. Social media and mobile advertising rank towards thebottom at 13% and 9%, respectively.

flag Post & Parcel: Finland's businesses could find their postal rates going upby as much as 10% at the start of next year. Postal service Itella is planningon hiking its letter services between 3% and 10%, depending on the customer.Addressed direct mail rates will rise by around 3%, as will non-addressedadvertising materials. Rates for addressed periodicals will generally increasedby between 1% and 10%, depending on publication, with non-addressed publicationsseeing a 3-7% price rise. Itella said the price increases will affect businessesonly, not consumer postal services, and will apply from 1st January, 2013.

MTAC logoPresentations from the November USPS Leadership Forum and MTAC Focus Groupsessions have been posted on the MTAC page of the Postal Service's RIBBSwebsite: Additional presentations will belive on the page later this evening or tomorrow.

 Euroweek:Deutsche Post, the German postal service, raised €1bn in the bond market onTuesday and €1bn with a convertible bond, in an ambitious and unusualtransaction designed to replenish its pension fund.

flag The Day: The historic U.S. Postal Service building on Masonic Street is nowofficially "slated for sale," according to a notice posted in the building. Buta postal service spokeswoman said Thursday there will be no sale if the priceoffered for the stately, marble-floored building doesn't more than cover thecost of retrofitting another smaller space in the city where the post officecould continue to serve customers.

flag Post & Parcel: MaltaPost has blamed changes in international mail tariffsmade by the Universal Postal Union as it recorded a 32.3% drop in pre-taxprofits over the past 12 months.

flag Boston Business Journal: As plans to expand South Station get on track,negotiations have resumed to relocate the U.S. Postal Service facilityoverlooking the Fort Point Channel to Fargo Street and open up a 14-acrewaterfront parcel along Dorchester Avenue for development.

The latest issue of the
PostComBulletin is available online.
 In thisissue:

  • According to the USPS OIG, "Hay Group found that the FERS surplus resultedfrom differences between Postal Service characteristics and the characteristicsof the rest of the federal government and recommended using PostalService-specific assumptions to measure the FERS liability. Hay Group estimatedthat when Postal Service-specific assumptions were used, the $11.4 billion FERSsurplus projected for fiscal year (FY) 2011 increased to $24.0 billion. Sincethe release of the white paper, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hasissued its annual estimate of the FERS surplus. This estimate was based on neweconomic and demographic assumptions adopted in July by the Board of Actuariesin charge of setting assumptions for FERS. In the new estimate, the surplus thatwas originally projected to be $11.4 billion decreased to $2.6 billion as of FY2011 ($3.0 billion as of FY 2012)."
  • According to the Tax Foundation, "by comparing the U.S. Postal Service toGreece, Postmaster General Donahoe was attempting to lessen the danger that theService will become like Greece. Ironically, the Service's leaders are sometimesaccused of trying to tear down the Service in hopes of eventually privatizingit. Their actions, in fact, go in the other direction. Public sentiment forprivatization tends to increase if a government-owned postal service is staringinto a deficit abyss or suffers a breakdown in basic mail delivery. That is whathas happened, for instance, in the United Kingdom, where Royal Mail, burdenedwith a massive pension debt and beset by strikes, is in the process of beingprivatized. The Service's efforts to address its financial imbalances soonerrather than later is, in effect, an anti-privatization strategy."
  • USPS OIG offers new email updates. USPS submits monthly IMb report to PRC.USPS looks for input on definition of mail owner. FedEx to offer buyouts with upto 2 years' pay. In mail we trust. Snail mail goes high tech in Austin. USPSchanging for the better. USPS submits 2012 mobile promotion report to PRC.Number of empty chairs on USPS board increasing. Another view: USPS' financialwoes are a problem of politics, not parcels. IMM revision: addressing foreignmail.
  • Updates from the Federal Register that affect the mailing industry.
  • An update from the USPS Office of Inspector General.
  • A review of postal news from around the world.
  • Postal previews.
Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom Bulletin--the best postal newsletter none?  Send us by email your name, company, company title, postal and email address. Get a chance to see what you've been missing.

The PostCom Bulletin is distributed via NetGram

December 6, 2012 

UPS logousps logoPost& Parcel: The world's largest postal service and the world's largest packagedelivery company have agreed to work more closely on cutting their respectivecarbon emissions. The US Postal Service and UPS said today they were going toshare sustainability data as existing operational partners in the deliverychain, in a "Blue and Brown makes Green" partnership that could also help bothcompanies cut costs and develop new products.

[PostCom logo] PostCom Members! The latest issue of PostCom's PostOps Update has been posted on this site. In this issue:

  • USPS Moves Closer to Informed Visibility
  • eInduction on Track for July 2013
  • IMb Planning Tool
  • Structured Release Cycle to Bring Labeling List Changes
  • USPS Shares More Details on 2013 Promotions
  • 2012 Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotions
  • USPS Considers Two Digital Direction Strategies
  • Pulse of the Industry
  • Standard Mail Volume Decline in FY 2012
  • More on the IMb Tech Credit
  • More on the IMb Tech Credit
  • New FCM Residual Rate – Angst for FCM; Clarification for Standard Mail
  • USPS Continues FSS Operation Improvements
  • USPS and Mailers Work to Better Manage MTE
  • Mail Preparation & Entry Committee Update
  • 'Mailers Urge USPS to Avoid Wood Pallets
  • Short Notes from the First Class Mail Focus Group
  • Secure Destruction Pilot to Begin
  • Short Notes from the Periodicals Focus Group
  • Seamless Acceptance Update
  • Short Notes from the Package Services Focus Group
  • Package Mailers Prepare for Barcoding Requirements
  • Temporary Move Identifier in the Works?
  • More Package Services Barcoding Requirements to Come?
  • Vacant Address Identification
  • Single Source ACS
  • POB Delivery Only Zone Indicator
  • New MTAC Workgroups and Task Teams
  • PostCom's Operations Planner
EdNote: You find this stuff interesting and you're STILL not a PostCom member? You gotta be kidding. Join today!

usps logo IMM Revision: Addressing Foreign Mail. Effective January 27, 2013, thePostal Service™ will revise Mailing Standards of the United States PostalService, International Mail Manual (IMM®) sections 122.1 and 122.2 to stipulatethat the addressee's full legal name — defined for international mailingpurposes as the addressee's first name, middle initial (if applicable), and lastname — and complete address must appear on international mailpieces. Having thefull legal name and complete address information enables the Postal Service andother federal agencies to ensure mailers' compliance with federal exportrequirements.

flag PRNewswire: Valassis, one of the nation's leading media and marketingservices companies, announced results from its recent Consumer Print UsageSurvey on Facebook®. Results indicate that while digital is key with Millennialshoppers (ages 18-34), traditional print media also plays an important role inthe group's shopping routines and are not only instrumental in decision-making,but often serve as a catalyst to online shopping. Findings from the survey speakto the power of print, specifically insert advertising, and how Millennialconsumers are combining these advertisements with online searches along theirpath to purchase.

flag Post & Parcel: Private sector mail company has criticisedlegislative proposals it says would see Polish Post retaining an unfairadvantage on the delivery of registered mail in Poland next year. Poland is oneof 11 European countries that has to open its postal market fully to competitionfrom January, under the terms of the EU Postal Directive. Lawmakers are in theprocess of passing a law to do so. But says an amendment to theproposed law, handing state-owned Polish Post an important advantage in theprovision of registered mail services for legal documents, is "another barrier"to healthy postal competition and "incompatible" with EU postal rules.

flag The Guardian: According to a headline in Wednesday's Daily Mail, postalworkers are threatening "to ditch half of their deliveries in bid to protectRoyal Mail from 'unfair' competition". The Mail makes it clear with thosequotation marks exactly where it stands on plans by the Communication Workers'Union (CWU) to ballot its members on whether to boycott letters handled by rivalcompanies. This is what the CWU is talking about to when it refers to "unfaircompetition". As the union says: "CWU is concerned that unfair competition isundermining the sustainability of the universal service … Private postal companymail makes up 45% of letter volumes delivered by Royal Mail, a figure which hasconsistently grown under competition arrangements. New end-to-end competition isa worrying expansion, further undermining the USO [universal serviceobligation]."

UPS‏@UPS Tired of missed deliveries? Sign up for UPS My Choice.

flag PRNewswire: There's plenty of news coverage this week about the wonderfulUSPS Operation Letters to Santa program, but it can be difficult for volunteersto locate participating postal branches, even at Operation Letters toSanta launches in New York City on December 5th.

flag Romania-Insider: The state -owned Romanian Post, which has been trying tosolve its financial problems and restructure, hopes to keep its level ofbusiness intact by entering new service areas in 2013. With its monopoly onsmall postal deliveries due to end in 2013, the Post needs to cover the lostservices with new additions. Its management plans to introduce insurancebrokerage services and some banking services in 2013. Its main asset, a largenetwork covering most of rural Romania and small cities, would be the strongpoint in this addition, as it would allow it to sell financing and insuranceservices to areas less covered by insurance companies and banks. The Post wouldeither offer its services in partnership with a bank, or via its own bank, thatit could set up, according to its management. The Post plans to improve its ITsystems and connect each of its units around the country to the system. Mobiletelephony is another area where the Post could enter, said its GM Ion Smeeianu,who was the head of the telecom authority ANCOM in 2000. The Post submitted arequest to launch a new Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), to re-sellmobile services. The Post already received two offers and will make a decisionaround December 10. The Post will have two mobile telephony services in itsoffer, a cheaper one which would allow free calls within a locality, and anotherone, which is promised to be still cheaper than everything else on the market.The service should be launched in the beginning of 2013 and the Post expects tosell some 30,000 pre-paid cards in a first stage. The aim is to sell mobileservices to low income Romanians. The loss posted by the Romanian Post in thelast three years adds up to some EUR 89 million. Next year, the company'sbusiness is likely to continue its downwards trend, as the state will lift itsmonopoly on deliveries below 50 grams.

flag Bloomberg: United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS)'s rivals were asked to examineconcessions that the world's biggest parcel company offered European Unionregulators probing its 5.16 billion-euro ($6.75 billion) bid for TNT ExpressNV."We have carried out a market test of the remedies proposal," EU CompetitionCommissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters in Brussels today. He said he'd comeback to the two companies "informing them of some of our concerns given theresults." The market test process hasn't yet been completed, Almunia's spokesmanAntoine Colombani said in an e-mail.

flag Direct Marketing News: Direct mail is a trusted channel, in every sense ofthe word. Indeed, four in 10 consumers say they prefer to receive sensitivehealth information in sealed envelopes from their mailboxes, according toEpsilon's 2012 Channel Preference Study, released today. The reason: Privacyissues with email. [EdNote: The Postal Service should move swiftly to buildon and expand that public trust.]

flag Trustnet: Escher, a world leading provider of outsourced point-of-servicesoftware to the postal industry, announces that POS Malaysia has selected theGroup to deliver its new postal retail system following a rigorous tenderprocess. The contract is an integral part of POS Malaysia's 'TransformationPlan' of enhancing its services to Malaysia's 29 million citizens through itsnetwork. Escher's Riposte software is an end-to-end solution for post officesthat provides a single platform for the delivery of all services includingretail, postal, payments, money transfer, banking and government services. Thecontract is for the provision of the Riposte licensed software, customisation,data centre hardware and deployment of the solution across Malaysia's network ofpostal outlets. Escher expects the contribution made by this contract to have amaterial effect on the Group's revenues for the year ended 31 December 2012. Thecontract also makes provision for two years of maintenance.

flag DutchNews: Postal workers' unions and PostNL have agreed a 1.7% pay riseafter months of difficult talks. The pay deal will be implemented in two stagesand runs until April next year. Talks on changes to the pension and earlyretirement scheme are still continuing.

flag Deccan Chronicle: The reported misuse of National Small Savings (NSS) fundsis getting murkier with every passing day. The latest addition to the list ofculprits is the postal department which collects the funds from depositorsthrough agents who play an active role in deposit mobilisation. According tosources, the postal authorities merely send the list of commission agents withtheir names and commission payable without verifying the valid list or detailsof the business carried out by the agent. These lists which barely contain thenames in a routine process is endorsed by the NSS tahsildar without checkingdetails or entries either by the DRO or any other official at district-leveleven though the same runs into lakhs of rupees every year. It is said that withno effective check by superior officers, it left the NSS and postal staff at thehelm of affairs, leading to the large scale misuse of funds.

flag Roll Call: Much of the rhetoric to date over the fiscal cliff has been ontaxes, but lawmakers on Wednesday finally began to zero in on what might be themost difficult piece of the budget puzzle: raising the debt ceiling. [EdNote:Now you would thing amidst all this stalemate Congress would actually want toaccomplish something of note, like pass postal reform and get this issue off itsplate. But . . . if you had to judge on the basis of what's been seen and saidthus far, you'd be wrong. Puhlease! Give us something to celebrate a MerryChristmas.]

flag Politico: Message men, lobbyists, grassroots firms and lawyers are raking incash as Congress and the White House argue about how to avoid a fiscal calamityat the end of the year — threatening spending cuts, tax hikes and changes toentitlement programs. It's a classic Washington phenomenon. [EdNote: I know .. . I know. Democracy. The worst form of government except for all others.]

flag Press Release: Satori Software today announced that it has acquiredMonticello Software Incorporated and its full suite of post-presort software.The acquisition further enhances the Satori Software line of products into acomplete solution set for data quality, presort and post-presort optimization,tracking and dynamic entry planning. "All of us at Monticello Software areexcited to become a part of the Satori team. And, it's great news for ourcustomers as well," said Joe Bailey, president of Monticello Software. "We'llcontinue to provide high-quality software products and excellent customersupport, but now our customers gain the ability to tap into the vast mailingknowledge and resources Satori Software has to offer."

flag The Record: For $4.99 a month, Outbox will have one of its "unpostmen"retrieve your mail three times a week and scan each piece into images viewableanywhere in the world via a secure website or iPad app. The service was testedin six Austin zip codes this year and rolled out city-wide about a month ago."The pain point we solve is for the frequent traveller, those individuals withcluster mailboxes far from their homes and people who want to be betterorganized," said Will Davis, who co-founded the company with Evan Baehr, aformer business school classmate. "There are things in your mailbox you love andwe want to give people better access to that."

flag Washington Times: Deputy PMG Ron Stroman -- Your editorial "Themailman vs. FedEx" (Nov. 27) mischaracterizes the U.S. Postal Service's abilityto compete with the private sector and falsely asserts we are maintaining overlyhigh staffing levels. Your description of the Postal Service's staffing levelsas "bloated" is wrong. We have reduced staffing levels by 280,000 positions overthe past decade — a 35 percent drop — and the Postal Service will shave anadditional 40,000 positions this year alone. These reductions are greater thanthose of any major private-sector company in America over a similar period.

December 5, 2012 

flag Washington Post: Two former United States Postal Service workers fromGeorgia have pleaded guilty for roles in a scheme to steal U.S. Treasury checksworth millions of dollars combined. Gerald Eason, 47, of Stockbridge, Ga.pleaded guilty today to stealing more than 1,300 Treasury checks worth nearly $3million from an Atlanta mail-distribution center where he worked as asupervisor. Another postal worker, Deborah Fambro-Echols, 49, of Hapeville, Ga.,pleaded guilty on Nov. 26 to conspiring with Eason to steal and cash additionalchecks. Atlanta residents Wendy Frasier, 35, and Daralyn M. Weaver, 31, as wellas Jabril O. McKee, 25, of Fairburn, Ga. and Ohmar D. Braden, 36, of Lithonia,Ga. have also pleaded guilty for roles in the scheme.

flag Post & Parcel: The U.S. Postal Service inspector general has come back witha fresh estimate of the USPS federal pension surplus – estimating it to be worth$12.48bn. The revised figure comes after the Office of the Inspector General(OIG) suggested back in October that USPS had as much as $24bn in surplus cashin its Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) That particular figure wastorpedoed by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which issued its ownrevised estimate based on lower interest rate predictions and differentdemographic assumptions, putting the figure as low as $3bn. This week the OIGcame back with a new figure of its own to take account of the OPM's change inassumptions.

Union LeaderFrederic Rolando, Pres. NALC -- The PostalService is a topic that should unite Republicans and Democrats, conservatives,moderates and liberals - and, of course, the independents that abound in NewHampshire. There's never been, and shouldn't be, anything partisan about thepost office. The oft-cited multibillion sea of red ink has little to do with themail; much to do with politics. Rather than rushing through a flawed bill in alame-duck session, the new Congress should start over in January and fixpre-funding. That would eliminate the biggest drain on postal finances. It alsowould relieve the crisis atmosphere, letting the postal community focus ondeveloping a forward-looking plan. Opportunities abound. The very Internet thatprovides challenges also provides opportunities. More folks pay bills online butthey're also ordering goods online - packages that require delivery. Thisexploding e-commerce market already is boosting Postal Service revenue - infiscal 2012 alone by 8.7 percent - as FedEx and UPS turn to its highly efficientuniversal network to deliver their packages cost-effectively.

CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

After threequarters, Swiss Post's results are still under pressure.
PostNL has to makeextra payments to the pension fund, due to its low coverage ratio.
Swiss Post willdiscontinue its personalised daily MyNewspaper at the end of this year.
The planned VATexemption for the Polish post stirred protests from privately run postaloperators. They fear that Poczta Polska will retain a de facto monopoly despitethe market liberalisation on January 1 2013.
Postal Euromed (CEP-News12/11) now has fifteen members. Spain joined the club of postal operators fromcountries bordering the Mediterranean Sea in the course of the last PostalEuromed Conference, held in Marrakesh. Now, Italy, France, Greece, ThePrincipality of Monaco, Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia, Morocco, Turkey, Lebanon, thePalestinian National Authority, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Spain are members ofthe group.
Siemens surprisinglyannounced to divest its divisions Postal Automation and Airport Logistics. Thecompany wanted to focus on its 'core activities' with the sale and exit a'non-core business with limited synergy potential', Roland Busch, CEO of SiemensInfrastructure & Cities, explained the decision.
The privatisation of RoyalMail next year is getting more and more likely.
The Brazilian postapparently is supposed to play an important role in the expansion andmodernisation of the country's ailing transport infrastructure.
While some ChineseCEP-service providers apparently plan to operate their own airlines (seeseparate news), there are rumours in the industry that the carriers ChinaEastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines plan to enter the CEP market.
The EU-Commission haspublished its green paper on obstacles to the cross-border parcel business. Inthe paper, the Commission finds that the intra European mail order businessdevelops too slowly. Only 9% of consumers in the EU would buy goods in othercountries online.
The DutchAssociation of Gold- and Silversmiths (Vereniging Goud- en Zilversmeden)recommended its member not sent their parcels with PostNL, but with otherservice providers. The reason for this step are repeated thefts of valuableconsignments sent with PostNL.
An acrimonious legaldispute (CEP-News 46/12) apparently doesn't hinder USPS to place an order withNorthrop Grumman Corp.
Deutsche Post takesadvantage of the currently favourable conditions on the capital market to fundits pension obligations in the long-term.

The MRU, founded in 1992, is the onlyconsultancy 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.Tolearn more about the stories reported above, contact CEP News. (Weappreciate the courtesy extended by CEP News to help whet your appetite for moreof what CEP offers.)

From the Federal Register:  Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES International Mail Contracts ,72412–72413 [2012–29287] [TEXT][PDF]

National Association of Major Mail Users: Accelerated mail volume declineshave resulted in financial losses for a sixth consecutive quarter for the CanadaPost Group of Companies. The underlying cause is a historic shift frompaper-based to digital communication by consumers, businesses and governments.Canada Post's core Transaction Mail volumes are likely to decline further andrapidly. The Corporation is accelerating the transformation of its business inorder to meet the evolving needs of Canadians and avoid becoming a burden ontaxpayers. Business plans call for increased share of marketing spend on directmail; increased share of parcel market; and electronic initiatives. More . . . .

Tax Foundation: "Is the Postal Service Like Greece?" By Michael Schuyler,Tax Foundation Fellow.

  At the Postal Regulatory Commission: According to Valpak, "the Postal Service's revised submission pertaining tostandard mail flats prices remains out of compliance with the Commission'sremedial orders." [EdNote: To Valpak -- "Go sit on a tack!"]

AssociatedPress: FedEx said Tuesday that it will be offering some employees up to twoyears' pay to leave the company starting next year. The voluntary program ispart of an effort by the world's second-biggest package delivery company to cutannual costs by $1.7 billion within three years. The restructuring is a responseto a shift by customers away from premium package-delivery services and towardslower, less expensive modes as the global economy struggles to grow. Employeeswho volunteer for the program will receive four weeks of pay for every year ofservice, capped at two full years of base pay. FedEx has said previously thatthe buyouts should reduce "fixed head count by several thousand people."

December 4, 2012 

PostComMembers! The latest issue of the PostCom Postal Executive's Summary has been posted on this site.

The Independent: Postal workers could block the delivery of half thenation's mail in an escalating dispute over the first challenge to the RoyalMail's historic monopoly on home delivery, union leaders are warning tonight. Inresponse to private delivery workers tramping the streets for the first time,the Communication Workers' Union announced it would ballot its 120,000 RoyalMail members in the New Year over whether they should stop handling all privatemail. If the boycott is approved, it would affect all of the £1.4bn a year worthof mail passing through Royal Mail – amounting to 44 per cent of all letters inthe UK postal system, and three-quarters of all bulk mail.

OnFERS!! USPS Office of Inspector General has issued a white paper on the FERS Surplus Calculations
The final report by Hay Associates on this issue is available on this siteas well.

Dead Tree Edition: At least 23,000 APWU-represented employees have signed upfor incentives to leave the U.S. Postal Service, according to Postmaster GeneralPatrick Donahoe.

B2B Marketing: FedEx Express has launched the next phase of its HALOadvertising initiative, started last year, with an international campaign usingits employees at the centre. The ‘FedEx. Solutions powered by people' campaignis aimed at SMEs in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Mexico, Japan andSouth Korea. By using employees in its print and online adverts the logisticscompany is hoping SMEs, who it says also have committed team members, willrelate to it.

Post & Parcel: Britain's major postal union has threatened to block mailfrom Royal Mail's private sector competitors from reaching UK households, inprotest against the continuing liberalisation of the postal market.

MoneySavingExpert: Households may not receive bank statements or other billsin the new year, as postal workers are threatening not to deliver letters sentvia private firms. Banks, the taxman and communications firms often send mailvia a third party. That company will pass the letter or parcel onto Royal Mailto deliver, but staff may not do that if their union takes action. Post fromBarclays, Sky, BT and HM Revenue & Customs is sent via TNT, while Vodafone usesUKMail. Private firms' mail makes up 45% of post delivered by Royal Mail.

eCommerceBytes: Online sellers favor the U.S. Postal Service, with a recentEcommerceBytes survey showing an overwhelming number of respondents (91%) usingthe service most often. However, many respondents reported using multiplecarriers; 97% of survey-takers said they had used the USPS in the last year; 40%had used UPS; and 27% had used FedEx over the past year.

From the Federal Register: 

  • Postal RegulatoryCommission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act , 71844–71845 [2012–29286][TEXT][PDF]
  • Postal Service NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act , 71845 [2012–29432] [TEXT][PDF]71845 [2012–29433] [TEXT][PDF]

AlanRobinson ‏@CEP_Observer #my2k Any progress on tap on fiscal cliff facing the #USPS? Most Posts worldwide other than USPS are earning profits, can't we dothat?
Alan Robinson ‏@CEP_Observer #whchat What are you doing to deal with fiscal cliff that could shut downthe #USPS next fallwhen it runs out of cash?

Courier,Express, and Postal Observer: Southeast Missourian has reported thatCongresswoman Jo Ann Emerson announced that she will resign from the House ofRepresentatives at the end of February. Congresswoman Emerson has been anoutspoken proponent of 6-day delivery and keeping rural post offices open. Sheserved as Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and GeneralGovernment in the 212th Congress. In that position she was responsible forkeeping the language that requires the Postal Service to provide 6-days ofdelivery in the Appropriations bill for Financial Services and GeneralGovernment that passed the full Appropriations Committee. Congresswoman Emersonwill become president and CEO of the National Rural Electric CooperativeAssociation, a not-for-profit organization that represents rural electriccooperatives and public power districts.

Newswise: A new Privacy and Advertising Mail survey by UC Berkeley School ofLaw finds that a very large majority of Americans, across all ideologies, agegroups, and income levels support a Do Not Mail initiative. The national data,released today by the law school's Berkeley Center for Law & Technology (BCLT),shows that an overwhelming 81 percent of respondents support the creation of aservice similar to the popular Do Not Call registry.

PRNewswire: The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) issued thefollowing statement in response to the November 30 provisional approval underthe Postal Privatization Law of a new Japan Post Insurance (JPI) educationendowment product by the Government of Japan: ACLI strongly criticized today theGovernment of Japan's decision to provisionally approve Japan Post Insurance(JPI) business expansion under the Postal Privatization Law while JPI continuesto benefit from competitive advantages over the private sector. Allowing JPI toexpand its product offering runs counter to Japan's national treatmentobligations under the World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade inServices (GATS) and calls into question Japan's commitment to honoring suchobligations.

The Inquisitr: A Rudolph postmark that was the Christmas signature for anOhio town of the same name was thought to be in danger after postal cuts — butsome Christmas spirit from locals has saved the tradition from falling victim tostaff downsizing.

The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General is pleased to announce a newemail subscription service. This new service will make it easier for you tolearn about USPS OIG topics which interest you. We hope that you will find ituseful to have the ability to customize your emails based upon your particularinterests. With this new service you can password protect your subscriptions andpreferences, change your email address, or remove yourself at any time byaccessing your Subscription Preferencespage. You'll need to log in with your email address. Be sure to save yourchanges, and look for a confirmation via email verifying the updates you make.Please share this new email service with others who may be interested. Sign-up for USPS OIG email updates.

  At the Postal Regulatory Commission:  Public Commission Meeting, Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at 11 a.m.,Commission Hearing Room, 901 New York Avenue NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC20268-0001.

December 3, 2012 For holiday shoppers, free shipping has gone from perk topriority. Shoppers don't just like it. They increasingly expect it. So, at leastfor the holidays, online retailers are scaling back minimum purchases and otherrequirements that have accompanied free shipping offers of the past. Nearly athird of online retailers plan to offer free shipping without any conditions atall this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation.

BusinessWire: Pitney Bowes Inc. today announced that the Pitney Bowes Boardof Directors has appointed Marc B. Lautenbach as President and Chief ExecutiveOfficer, effective immediately. Mr. Lautenbach joins Pitney Bowes with nearly 30years of experience in the technology and business services industry, havingserved in senior leadership positions at IBM. Mr. Lautenbach succeeds Murray D.Martin, who is retiring as the company's Chairman, President and Chief ExecutiveOfficer and has resigned from the company's board of directors. Mr. Martin willcontinue to work with Mr. Lautenbach on an effective transition. At differentstages of his 27-year career at IBM, Mr. Lautenbach oversaw the small- andmedium-size (SMB) customer segment. In addition, as the executive responsiblefor sales in the Americas, he has had substantial experience in the enterpriseand federal government segments. Most recently, Mr. Lautenbach served asManaging Partner of IBM North America Global Business Services. Mr. Lautenbachhas served in various senior management positions of increasing responsibility,including General Manager, IBM North America; General Manager, IBM Global Smalland Medium Business; and Vice President, IBM Asia-Pacific Small and MediumBusiness.

Toronto Sun: Postal union members in Brazil for a political conference hadthe chance to rub elbows this week with supporters of a listed terror group andits leader. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) were in Porto Alegre forthe World Social Forum's "Free Palestine" conference, which wrapped up Saturday.Canada Post has said won't pick up the tab for sending CUPW members down south.The union had hoped to pay for the trip through a global solidarity fundnegotiated with the Crown corporation through its collective agreement.

Charleston Daily Mail: Imagine Congress forcing McDonald's to openrestaurants in 3,700 towns, some of which are so small they have no more than100 residents. The lack of customers would bankrupt the company. Yet that iswhat the federal government has done to the U.S. Postal Service. Union lobbyingand pressure from people back home have led all too many members of Congress toinsist that a Postal Service that is hemorrhaging money must continue to operatein such expensive locations. The same is true with Saturday mail. Althoughfive-day workweeks are the national norm, postal couriers must make the roundssix days a week, regardless of how little mail there is to deliver. That'sbecause Congress blocks fiscally sane changes. The facts about the PostalService are as dreary as they are in the case of the Twinkie bankruptcy.

December 1, 2012 

WallStreet Journal: FedEx Corp. will raise its shipping rates for ground andhome delivery by an average of 4.9% in 2013. The new rates, which take effectJan. 7, reflect higher base rates but lower fuel surcharges. Rates for FedEx'se-commerce-oriented service SmartPost will also change, and the company said inSeptember that it planned to raise its express shipping rates by an average of3.9% in the new year. Competitor United Parcel Service Inc. also has said itwould raise its rates in the new year.

Spruce Grove Examiner: The postal union will deliver a grievance to CanadaPost if it refuses to pay for a delegation to attend a conference critics haveslammed as anti-Israel. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has sent afive-person delegation to Porto Alegre, Brazil, for the World Social Forum's"Free Palestine" conference. CUPW said it was funding the trip through a$200,000 international postal fund provided to the union by the Crowncorporation under its collective agreement.

From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission
New International Mail Contracts ,
71642–71643 [2012–29066] [TEXT]  [PDF]
Standard Mail Pricing ,
71643–71644 [2012–29067] [TEXT]  [PDF]

Courier, Express, and Postal Observer: This week the House ofRepresentatives passed six bills renaming Post Offices. These ceremonial billswere all passed under suspension of the rules. Maybe its time for a member ofCongress to object to suspension of the rules on each bill that renames of PostOffice until the House of Representatives acts on postal reform. It may not movelegislation forward faster, but it would raise public awareness as to thefailure of the House of Representatives to act.

Federal Times: As the U.S. Postal Service's problems grow, its governingboard is shrinking. The board, which is supposed to have 11 members, currentlyhas eight and will lose another next week when Chairman Thurgood Marshall Jr.steps down, leaving it with just one more member than the six needed for aquorum to conduct business. As of today, however, the Senate Homeland Securityand Governmental Affairs Committee hasn't scheduled confirmation votes on threeboard nominations that have been awaiting action since summer. In an email,committee spokeswoman Leslie Phillips said she did not know the reason for thedelay. Although there have no recent meetings where the lack of a quorum hasbeen an issue, "we look forward to having all the board vacancies filled andhope that happens as soon as possible," USPS spokesman Dave Partenheimer said,also by email.

Canada Free Press: B'nai Brith Canada is outraged by the Canadian PostalWorkers Union (CUPW) misusing taxpayer dollars to single out the Jewish state ofIsrael for contempt and hatred. The Jewish human rights organization decried theabuse of taxpayer funds to send CUPW members to an anti-Israel propaganda forumin Brazil focusing on boycotting the Jewish state. The union has indicated thatit is using money given to it as part of its collective agreement with CanadaPost which was earmarked exclusively for solidarity projects with other postalunions.